Find out what it’s like to earn a living by dancing at a bar.
AK* is a lesbian hosto at Miss Kon, a bar in Malate. His shift starts at 2:00 AM. Like any other person on the graveyard shift, he wakes up at night to prepare for work.
AK doesn’t do much at home before he goes to work. He gets up at 9:00 PM, a few hours before his shift starts. He doesn’t eat at home either; AK prefers to have dinner with his work friends. Instead, he packs a bag of essentials, including his clothes. He also takes time to pick out shoes that would coordinate with the rest of his outfit.
Once he has prepared his uniform and the costumes they will be needing, AK then hops into the bathroom. He takes a bath to wake himself up.
Going to work
AK used to live in Quezon City when he started work at Miss Kon. Back then, he had a long commute since the bar is in Manila. Now that he’s been a ‘hosto‘ for almost a year, he decided to move to a condo near the bar instead.
After bathing, AK walks to work. That usually takes him three to five minutes. Upon arriving at the bar, he puts his things in the dressing room he shares with the rest of the dancers. AK then checks his reflection in the large mirrors that line the walls of the dressing room.
The next thing he checks is his schedule. He goes to their manager to find out how many performances he’s slated to do. He likes to know in advance so he can prepare for the night. AK didn’t go into much detail about his preparations, except to say they’re mental and physical.
Once he’s had dinner, he returns to the dressing room and puts on makeup. The dancers aren’t required to put on a lot of make-up, but AK wants to be sure to cover up any blemishes he may have.
What happens at the bar
Regular weekday nights can be a bit slow sometimes, and the action picks up at around 4:00 AM. Customers start pouring in at dawn, which is when the dancers start performing. When a customer asks for AK to sit down at their table, he always accepts. Since Miss Kon allows dancers to drink, AK is usually drunk by the end of his shift.
AK has been on the receiving end of indecent proposals. He doesn’t turn them down, exactly, especially if they tip big. But he says that management discourages dancers from giving ‘extra service’. If they’re attracted to any of the customers, that’s fine. But the dancers should make arrangements with them on their own time.
Life as a lesbian hosto
AKÂ has had several girlfriends in less than a year. That’s when he started at Miss Kon. He was in a relationship when he applied to be a hosto, but he and his partner broke up when he fell in love with a customer.
He and that customer were only together for a few months. The latter got jealous of other customers and broke up with AK. After that, the dancer had another short-lived relationship. But at the moment, AK isn’t dating anyone. He says he wants to keep it that way for now so he can focus on himself.
AK says there are upsides to being single. For instance, instead of spending money on dates and gifts, he gets to save. He gets big tips at the bar. Case in point: One night, he got over P140,000. But he’s quick to clarify that it’s been a long time since that happened. These days, he gets four- and five-figure tips.
Future plans of a lesbian hosto
AK has no plans to leave Miss Kon. He loves the environment and the pay. He’s an orphan, but he still has siblings and a few members of his extended family around. They don’t even mind that he works as a lesbian hosto.
He says their support is all he needs to keep going.
Featured Image Daniella Sison