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Dominican Republic vs. Philippines

Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.

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Dominican Republic vs. Philippines

Postby Rock » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:35 pm

I've spent a significant amount of time in both countries recently so thought I would share some notes on this and perhaps generate a discussion on their relative merits to the HA community.

Disclaimer I'm not going to pretend to be any kind of expert on either one of these countries. Consider everything I write as the opinions and impressions of a tourist who has spent some weeks in each place and made significant efforts to break a bit into the local scene (not jus hanging in tourist areas associating with tourist interface locals).

Some stats - PI / DR
GDP nominal per head US$ - 2,345 / 5.545
GD ppp per head US$ - 4,119 / 9,796
Homicides per 100,000 per yr. - 5.4 / 25.0

Apparent conclusion DR significantly richer as whole but more dangerous than Phils

Similarities

1. Both currencies are at around 40-41 to one US$ so local currency prices easy to compare.

2. Hot, humid, and sunny climate year around in most areas of each.

3. Tiny upper class, small middle class, and mostly working poor and unemployed poor in both.

4. People seem to be easygoing, friendly, and approachable at surface level for both.

5. Both countries have slow and inefficient service infrastructure in many cases.

6. Many opportunities to date regular girls or engage in P4P or quasi P4P for both countries.

7. Both countries do not appear racist on surface. However, hi-middle class and rich class seems to be dominated by whitish people in DR and light skinned/NE Asianish people in Phils. I've been told that ethnic Haitians or those that have that look often suffer various forms of negative discrimination in DR.

8. Eating out prices seem rather similar but I prefer the food in DR tho it's not that great for me, just better than Phils.

Differences

1. Taxis in DR don't use meters and are generally 2-5 times cost of Phils.

2. Budget hotels in DR are nicer and somewhat cheaper.

3. Urban roads in DR are full of rust bucket vehicles on their last leg with a few nice newer once in between. In Phils, you see a lot more nice, modern, and undamaged vehicles - both taxi and private.

4. DR is significantly more dangerous than Phils for muggings and general street crime. There are a lot more areas you can comfortably walk at night in Manila than Santo Domingo.

5. Phils is full of modern chain type stores whereas DR has a lot more old school mom-and-pop type businesses. 7-11s and the like all over urban Phils. DR much less convenient in wee hours.

6. DR has some beautiful architecture and notable historical tourism opportunities. I loved walking around the Zona Colonial area of Santo Domingo and didn't get bored of it even after several days. Phils has much less of this. Both have beach resorts but nothing in DR probably rivals the best ones in Phils.

7. Filipinos tend to be relatively quiet and polite. Domicanos more loud, gregarious, and engaging.

8. As a white or black westerners, you feel much more like a foreigner in Phils than in DR.

9. Local language skills very necessary to get most of experience in DR, much less so in Phils.

10. You also feel more exotic in Phils than DR. But if you have green or blue eyes, that will still get u a bit of attention in DR as its relatively rare.

11. In Santo Domingo, public transport is mainly dirty old pubic cars and mini busses where people get crammed in like sardines and generally pay 25 DR pesos per ride. In Manila, it's jeepneys at just 8 pesos per ride and you never have anyone sitting on your lap.

12. I heard a lot about how jealous many Domican men are and how they often beat their wives are gfs, sometimes seriously. On taxi driver told me that a large number of women are killed each year by their bfs or husbands. One friend I visited told me her next door neighbor had been in intensive care for over 2 weeks after a beating at the hand of her husband and another friend learned that her classmate was killed by her husband one night when I was out with her. I was told me that in the barrios, you don't call the police on stuff like that cus if you do, you'll likely get hurt for not minding your own business. I hear much less about this sort of thing in Phils even tho guys there are also know to be macho.

13. People in DR are not into texting the way they are in Phils. or certain other Asian countries. Many prefer just to call if something needs to be communicated. But texting is much better for addresses, times, etc. because they speak so fast and often the background is noisy.

DR Language

Spanish is the language but the way they speak it is tough for me to understand, far removed from Castillian Spanish in most if not all regions. It's really kind of like a dialect. They speak very quickly, drop certain consent endings, throw in lots of slang, and have borrowed words from certain African languages. I had an easier time understanding most people in central Colombia even though back then my Spanish was much worse than it is now. If you meet very educated people or those who are independently intellectual, you will probably find them much easier to understand if you learned your Spanish in the classroom, Colombia, or Spain. However, most people still do understand the more standard versions of Spanish thanks to TV, school, and other more formal setting where it's often used. It's just that most don't seem to talk that way among themselves.

So what about the girls in DR???

You've got a big range of looks - shorter to very tall, slim to exaggerated curvy, the results of mulato white black mixing with a bit of Indian thrown in. Rough guess would be 85% mixed, 10% black (Haitian/African), and 5% white or quasi white. In general, Santiago seems significantly lighter skinned than Santo Domingo and you see more lighter skinned people in the richest areas of town in Santo Domingo. Not too many Asian looking people unless you visit one of the DR China Towns. Chinese and Asians are known to stick very much to themselves there.

The de-facto look is Brazilian, curvy and often tall but with one difference I noticed - Brazilians are often bottom heavy and top light (big ass/small breast combo) whereas in DR, big ass plus big breasts seem more common. But there are some who have that signature Brazilian body as well.

Heights vary a lot, both for men and women. I can walk into a shop where guy ahead of me might be 5'5" and guy behind me is 6'6", not so out of the ordinary like it would be about anywhere in Asia. Girls range generally range from 5'3" to 5'8" but with a noticeable percentage in the 5'9" to 6' category.

You see a fair number of real bona fide stunners in DR, something clearly lacking in Phils. Girls often dress in a way which emphasizes their sexuality so it's a fun place to people watch. When you travel in the public cars, you sometimes end up with a hottie practically in your lap. No big deal as they don't seem to have hang-ups about physical contact and personal space the way we do in States. When a new person enters the car, they will often greet those next to them with "Buenas" and sometimes people just start chatting with each other. But avoid the public transport at night. Locals will warn you that it's high risk if you are an outsider and not very familiar with the streets. In fact, some bus lines are dangerous during day too. For example, I was warned by more than one person never to take No. 35 out of Independence Park to get to Mega Centro, stick with No. 99.

Meeting non-P4P Online, cold approach, or cold approach with local introducer. Bars and clubs are another option, esp. those along Ave. Venezuela. But that's not really my thing. With all methods, you will likely find a percentage (should be a very small minority if you select properly) may have quasi P4P motivations (hoping you as a foreigner will sugar daddy them). You can decide to cut those off or take-em up on it, your choice. As for genuine non P4P gals, they can be wonderful if they really like you.

Understand that as a white or especially black American or European, you are not going to stand-out there the way you would in Phils. There are a good number of tall, well built, and good looking local guys of various shades. But if you white with blue or green eyes, that is a bit exotic since it's relatively rare outside of the rich classes. Anyway, don't expect girls to come on to you. You will have to put in some work one way or another unless perhaps you are exceptionally attractive. Some girls don't seem to be so hung up on looks or age. It really depends on the girl. But larger age gaps are probably more difficult to achieve there than in Phils with regular type relationships. In any case, most girls you meet will probably be from poor or at best, modest middle class backgrounds.

And, believe it or not, I've found it easier to meet intellectual types in Phils. than DR though by now, I've spent a lot more time in Phils. From what I've seen, most very intellectual types are either going to be Haitians or people from the upper middle class or better. Somehow, the culture seems kind of anti intellectual to me, a bit like Thailand in that regard. Perhaps when I go deeper and peel more layers from the onion, I will find out otherwise. One girl there who I've know quite awhile and who has even posted here at times under Jeygonza is has what I consider an outward looking and intellectual nature. But she has told me she often feels very out of place in DR for that very reason.

Majority of girls seem quite open physically and even sexually. If she wants to go with you, she will likely ask about where you are staying more than once. Take the hint, lol. Now there's a certain number of serious Christian/Catholic girls too. I highly recommend them for serious relationships. They may not be up for having sex with you. Some may even be virgins. But they can still generally be very affectionate, intimately kiss you behind closed, etc.

Do be careful and cautious and don't give your trust easily. Many of these girls have the wrong kinds of motivations for being with you. So far, my experience suggest that it becomes apparent quite quickly if she does as long as you are sensitive and observant. I do believe there are still a significant percentage of genuinely nice girls. Stick w/those if you want serious gf. Go for the other types if you wanna do a bunch of hit-and-runs.

Sometimes you will meet guys (often taxi drivers) who speak perfect (NYC street) English because they grew up in States and either got deported or spend some time in each country. Often, these guys who bridge both cultures are pretty jaded and see most Dominican girls as available to guys who can take good enough care of them financially. I'm sure many are like that but I also believe there is a large percentage of exceptions.

Finding P4P
DR is one of the known hotspots in the world. There are various casas in the largest cities and sex tourism areas such as Boca Chica and Sosua. If you are brave, you can also cold approach and search online for gals and subtly imply that you are willing to help them with their tuition or perhaps buy them a nice gift. Back in late 2011 when I visited Haiti (other side of Hispanola), one Haitian American told me that Dominican girls are taught by their mothers to believe that their vaginas are paved with gold, lol. I've heard that sentiment echoed by one or two others as well. I still believe it depends a lot on the girls. In certain regions, such as Santiago and towns and cities around it within a one hour radius, there might be a stronger tendency for many girls to mix sex and money. Correct me if you know better here Well-Informed.

Photos

I took a lot, both touristy and of people. I even shot some vids. I may post some here later or perhaps share them with certain people.

Continued discussion

There are others on this forum who have knowledge or experience with DR or its people. I hope they will contribute to this thread. So much has been said about Phils. that we can use it as some sort of comparison platform. But relatively little has been written so far on DR. Hope that changes.
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Postby Banano » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:09 pm

You said accomodation is cheapper than in PH, how much per night in budget hotel?
Prices of p4p?

It sounds like DR women have asses and titts, something you cant find in PH, it makes them clear winner?
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Postby E_Irizarry » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:26 pm

Whenever I speak to Dominicans online, they more educated they are, the easier it is that we communicate.

Poor ones sometimes are like, for example, most of the poor DR chicks there would say "No entiendo" (I don't understand)
and it would be something I'd say like "Cuando se trata comer al buffet, se apesta la mayoria de la comida ayi." (When it comes to buffets, most of the food smells badly.)

And they don't even understand that, but educated people in DR understand me. Rock is right on that one.

Here's what a poor Dominican would say

"Oye. Hay un cabron que tenga un gallo en su culo entonces se le pasaba, pa que ponle en la basura y echale la gallina de la maton, puto no? Mirele aqui! (Smacks him hard! ACTION) Ahorita este por ayi!" and that shi.t would mean in English, "Hey whenever he tries to talk to your sister, punch him in the face look here punch him and then tell him to go over there!" or some shi.t lol where it would literally translate to "LIsten. There's an asshole with a hen-rooster is his a.ss, so whenever he passes you by, put his a.ss in the garbage and rip his guts out, correct you male whore? Look here, now go over there (e.g. of the action they would do the victim).". Bugged-out shhh.it. lol
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Postby zboy1 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:30 pm

I spent a couple of days in the DR--and I must say, the women there are very hot. They, indeed, have very nice-looking T&A in comparison to Asian girls. And the Dominicans in their own country seemed to be much nicer than their nasty American counterparts.

I found that some of the women liked Asian men, too, so that was a real plus. I befriended this one lady that worked at my hotel and she would often flirt with me. It's too bad I didn't try to pick her up, since I was too busy being with my family. Otherwise, I would've tried to sleep with her, lol.
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Postby E_Irizarry » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:07 pm

zboy1 wrote:....And the Dominicans in their own country seemed to be much nicer than their nasty American counterparts. .....

The ones in Washington Heights (well majority) as a.sswipes (not to diss well-informed, JVargasBronx, nor Jeygonza). Very machista the men are,
and actually most are bigoted-as-f.uck that I have met.

I used to frequent MiGente.com when the site was cool as s.hit back in its commencement in the year 2000.
Then one day, this one Dominican-American dude (forgot his s/n), started spamming my in box with
"No eres un verdadero dominicano...eres un pato" and "Eres un mariconanso y seas un hijo de puta".
"You aren't a real Dominican..you are a fagg.ot"...and "you are a fa.ggot and you are a son of bit.ch!"
And he wanted me to come down to the Y(-MCA) in Brooklyn Heights and "liamos un peleo del boxeo" (That we would get into a boxing match!)

I actually was going to do it, but then this Black dude talked sense to me and said that what if you win ORRRRRR lose, you might have a gang of those Dominicans that side
with him beat you to a pulp. It's not worth it he said.

That's what made me stand down from going. I was adamant for the most part!!!

And one time in English I put up different body types that women could possibly possess, and this one Dominican-American chick got on my page and trolled me
for having a taste in different body types (I listed like 27 of them that a woman can possibly have and SHE found that to be sexist! GTFOH with that s.hit!!)

Yup MiGente was fun until they have closed my account without my permission after a 10-year stint :-/
Fugg 'em! LOL
"I appreciate the opportunities I have in America. Opportunities that allow me to live abroad." **Smiles** - Have2Fly@H.A. (2013)

"The only way to overcome that is to go abroad to get a broad."
- E. Irizarry (2009)

"MGTOW resilience is the key to foreign residence. You better muthafuckin' ask somebody!!"
- E. Irizarry (2012)

"I rather be ostracized by 157.0 million (27.3% of the US of Gay pop), then to appease 1 feminist." - E. Irizarry (2013)

TanBoy by DNA | Despedido, Hugo Chavez...Descansa en paz!
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Postby E_Irizarry » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:28 pm

Oooooh we! I got another story!!

Check it!

So one time back in 2001 (months before 9/11 had taken place), I was strolling through Jamaica Ave in predominantly-Dominican Richmond Hills/Cypress Hill area of SE Brooklyn/SW Queens area off the J-Z train (yes Jay-Z got his name from that training running right by Marcy Projects),
I saw a F-O-B Dominicana (itsy bitsy spider-sized waistline with crotch, hips, thighs, and ligth-skinned - my fav lol - well almost) standing right in front of a Dominican-pwned bodega. Yes literally fresh off of the plane from LGA airport. We actually had spoken Spanish for 30 seconds before the ultimate co.ckblock.

Right before that had happened:

Me: "Te ves tan hermosa tu eres. Pues Ud tiene un novio o que? No?"
Ella (she): "Claro que no. Recien llegué en America. Me gustaría encontrarme un nuevo novio"
Me: "Estoy al punto de darle a Ud mi NUEVO número"...

Me: "You are so pretty you are. Well do you have a bf or what? Well?"
She: "Of course not (because) I just got here to America (for the first time). I would like to find myself a new man (in my life)."
Me: "I'm about to give you my NEW number..."

Then at that moment, those TWELVE Dominicans spilled out onto the street and surrounded her without uttering a word or a sound looking at me in cold silence.

I just left without saying sh.it. Yeah, man. lol
"I appreciate the opportunities I have in America. Opportunities that allow me to live abroad." **Smiles** - Have2Fly@H.A. (2013)

"The only way to overcome that is to go abroad to get a broad."
- E. Irizarry (2009)

"MGTOW resilience is the key to foreign residence. You better muthafuckin' ask somebody!!"
- E. Irizarry (2012)

"I rather be ostracized by 157.0 million (27.3% of the US of Gay pop), then to appease 1 feminist." - E. Irizarry (2013)

TanBoy by DNA | Despedido, Hugo Chavez...Descansa en paz!
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Postby Jester » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:14 pm

E_Irizarry wrote:And he wanted me to come down to the Y(-MCA) in Brooklyn Heights and "liamos un peleo del boxeo" (That we would get into a boxing match!)

I actually was going to do it, but then this Black dude talked sense to me and said that what if you win ORRRRRR lose, you might have a gang of those Dominicans that side
with him beat you to a pulp. It's not worth it he said.

That's what made me stand down from going. I was adamant for the most part!!!


Right choice. Bad guys always want you to fight at their choosing of time and place.

Bullshit to that.
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Postby publicduende » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:11 pm

I have been to both countries too, albeit for a very limited time and in a specific location. Two weeks in Punta Cana, November 2010, with a few trips to Higuey, and two weeks between Samal and Davao, December 2012.

Some of the comparisons you made aren't farfetched at all: both countries enjoy a tropical climate, with hot and humid summers and warm and rainy "winters". When I was in Punta Cana (November) I remember the temperature was around 19/20, with a bit of wind and the sun wasn't exactly scorching. Davao would have probably been at least 25 degrees and great sun during the same period.

In DR, my wife and I spent most of our time in one of those big 5-star resorts, so I wouldn't take that as a proxy to their culinary tradition. On our trips to Higuey we did try some cheap restaurants though and, to be honest, we weren't too impressed. The cuisine is quite similar to what you could find in inland Colombia: staple food - rice and beans - and a bit of fried plaintain and chicarron thrown in. I liked the coconut bread and, in one occasion I tried some fried prawns, good but nothing to scream for. It could have been that the "delta" with the Colombian cuisine I had tasted when I was there for my wedding/honeymoon wasn't that great, but I didn't consider what I had there exactly memorable.

On the contrary, the menus I saw in Davao had a much larger variety of fish (mainly tuna and seafood), chicken and pork based recipes. What was best, some of those dishes showed a pleasant fusion of Chinese, Malay/Indonesian and Japanese flavours mixed with native recipes. Those who think Pinoy cuisine is fast food and bad copies of American grills really are in for a suprise. Another plus against DR, the food was effectively almost half as expensive as what we paid in Higuey, despite the fact we never ate at high-class establishments.

The figures pro-capite GDP figures would lead one to think DR are twice as wealthy and prosperous as the Philippines. I can't really compare based on only one city and 2 weeks per country, but from the little I saw I didn't really see all of this wealth on the streets of Higuey. The girls were chubby and far scruffier than those I saw in Davao. Perhaps I should be looking at Santiago or La Romana to have a like-with-like comparison, but the people of Davao did look, walk and talk better. No comparison on the urban landscape, architecture side, Davao has a far more modern infrastructure than Higuey. The impression in DR was of a society pretty much left to their own devices, with limited socio-economic uptrends. On the other side, Davao and its people come across as more vibrant and on the rise, even if much of that rise is predicated upon remittances from Japan, Singapore, the Emirates or Europe, or a lot of pretty shrewd foreign investment.

I never had a problem with personal safety in either country, however the danger levels of DR and several of their Caribbean neighbours (starting from Jamaica and Haiti) are very well known to everyone. Perhaps it's unfair to compare DR with what has been almost forcefully turned into the safest (= most fascist) city in the country, but Davao doesn't even begin to compare. When walking the streets of Davao, even the seedier areas like San Pedro, I have never even felt nervous, let alone threatened.

As for the girls, this is a matter of personal tastes but, in my time in Punta Cana and Higuey, I don't remember spotting a single girl that could qualify as remotely attractive by my standards. The only girl I kind of (partly) liked was one we found on the minibus to Higuey on our first trip. She was all smiles, started to talk to us and was interested in Monica being from Colombia. She spoke good English and was kind enough to help us reaching the city centre. She had a cute face with smooth features and nice big breasts, however her waist down was something to forget entirely. And that was the best of the lot :) I am sure one can find better body types around good bars and malls in the bigger cities, but I honestly wasn't in the mood for "anthropology research" :) I would swap the fully proportionate, slender, smooth and tanned Filipina body any time.
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Postby Rock » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:10 pm

Banano wrote:You said accomodation is cheapper than in PH, how much per night in budget hotel?
Prices of p4p?

It sounds like DR women have asses and titts, something you cant find in PH, it makes them clear winner?


To keep it apples to apples, let's compare excellent location budget hotel in center of Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo to entertainment district in Makati:

You can get room w/air-con, cable, wifi, fridge access, and maid service for 1,200 Pesos for DR vs. 1,500 in Makati and DR hotel will generally be nicer. In convenient area of Santiago near Monument, I found similar place for just 1,000 Pesos.

Yes, on average, DR girls are several inches taller and have much better asses. Sometimes tits are too big tho.
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Postby Rock » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:14 pm

zboy1 wrote:I spent a couple of days in the DR--and I must say, the women there are very hot. They, indeed, have very nice-looking T&A in comparison to Asian girls. And the Dominicans in their own country seemed to be much nicer than their nasty American counterparts.

I found that some of the women liked Asian men, too, so that was a real plus. I befriended this one lady that worked at my hotel and she would often flirt with me. It's too bad I didn't try to pick her up, since I was too busy being with my family. Otherwise, I would've tried to sleep with her, lol.


Try to spend more time there. When I asked about Chinese people, I was told the Chinese Dominicans keep to themselves, send their kids to private schools, and tend not to intermarry with non-Chinese. Most are economically much better off than the average non-Asian Domincanos.
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Postby Rock » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:31 pm

publicduende wrote:I have been to both countries too, albeit for a very limited time and in a specific location. Two weeks in Punta Cana, November 2010, with a few trips to Higuey, and two weeks between Samal and Davao, December 2012.

Some of the comparisons you made aren't farfetched at all: both countries enjoy a tropical climate, with hot and humid summers and warm and rainy "winters". When I was in Punta Cana (November) I remember the temperature was around 19/20, with a bit of wind and the sun wasn't exactly scorching. Davao would have probably been at least 25 degrees and great sun during the same period.

In DR, my wife and I spent most of our time in one of those big 5-star resorts, so I wouldn't take that as a proxy to their culinary tradition. On our trips to Higuey we did try some cheap restaurants though and, to be honest, we weren't too impressed. The cuisine is quite similar to what you could find in inland Colombia: staple food - rice and beans - and a bit of fried plaintain and chicarron thrown in. I liked the coconut bread and, in one occasion I tried some fried prawns, good but nothing to scream for. It could have been that the "delta" with the Colombian cuisine I had tasted when I was there for my wedding/honeymoon wasn't that great, but I didn't consider what I had there exactly memorable.

On the contrary, the menus I saw in Davao had a much larger variety of fish (mainly tuna and seafood), chicken and pork based recipes. What was best, some of those dishes showed a pleasant fusion of Chinese, Malay/Indonesian and Japanese flavours mixed with native recipes. Those who think Pinoy cuisine is fast food and bad copies of American grills really are in for a suprise. Another plus against DR, the food was effectively almost half as expensive as what we paid in Higuey, despite the fact we never ate at high-class establishments.

The figures pro-capite GDP figures would lead one to think DR are twice as wealthy and prosperous as the Philippines. I can't really compare based on only one city and 2 weeks per country, but from the little I saw I didn't really see all of this wealth on the streets of Higuey. The girls were chubby and far scruffier than those I saw in Davao. Perhaps I should be looking at Santiago or La Romana to have a like-with-like comparison, but the people of Davao did look, walk and talk better. No comparison on the urban landscape, architecture side, Davao has a far more modern infrastructure than Higuey. The impression in DR was of a society pretty much left to their own devices, with limited socio-economic uptrends. On the other side, Davao and its people come across as more vibrant and on the rise, even if much of that rise is predicated upon remittances from Japan, Singapore, the Emirates or Europe, or a lot of pretty shrewd foreign investment.

I never had a problem with personal safety in either country, however the danger levels of DR and several of their Caribbean neighbours (starting from Jamaica and Haiti) are very well known to everyone. Perhaps it's unfair to compare DR with what has been almost forcefully turned into the safest (= most fascist) city in the country, but Davao doesn't even begin to compare. When walking the streets of Davao, even the seedier areas like San Pedro, I have never even felt nervous, let alone threatened.

As for the girls, this is a matter of personal tastes but, in my time in Punta Cana and Higuey, I don't remember spotting a single girl that could qualify as remotely attractive by my standards. The only girl I kind of (partly) liked was one we found on the minibus to Higuey on our first trip. She was all smiles, started to talk to us and was interested in Monica being from Colombia. She spoke good English and was kind enough to help us reaching the city centre. She had a cute face with smooth features and nice big breasts, however her waist down was something to forget entirely. And that was the best of the lot :) I am sure one can find better body types around good bars and malls in the bigger cities, but I honestly wasn't in the mood for "anthropology research" :) I would swap the fully proportionate, slender, smooth and tanned Filipina body any time.


1. I haven't been to east side (Punta Cana and Higuey) yet, only Santo Domingo area, Santiago area, and Puerto Plata area plus a bus trip from Haiti in the west all the way to DR. So I can't be sure what you experienced there.

2. Perhaps Davao is an exception as far as the notion food in Phils is bad and overpriced.

3. Agree w/yr impressions on GDP per head. A lot of poverty and desperation in DR just like Phils. Plus, in some ways, infrastructure is worse. Vehicles in DR much worse than Phils on average. I didn't sense the economic growth opportunities in DR that I do in Phils. In 10 years, I suspect PR will be more changed than DR.

4. In some ways, Haiti is safer. It has a much lower murder rate and cops there are tough. They often shoot people who steal or get out of line. But most of Jamaica is very dangerous, much more so for a white than DR.

5. For the girl comparison - I will take Gaisano Mall in Davao vs. Agoda Mall in Santo Domingo. No contest. For every semi-cute local girl I saw in Gaisano, I probably saw 3-5 stunners, a lot more very cute ones, and dozens of semi-cute ones in Agoda. Same would apply if I used Mall of Asia or Greenbelt Mall in Metro instead of Gaisano Mall. Girls in DR are often tall and have fantastic bodies, especially in richer areas. In Davao, most are like 5 4 or less and 5 6 or above is rare. You can also find plenty of gals like those Medellin girls u posted a photo of in higher class areas of DR. Not so for Phils.
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Postby publicduende » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:33 pm

Rock wrote:
publicduende wrote:I have been to both countries too, albeit for a very limited time and in a specific location. Two weeks in Punta Cana, November 2010, with a few trips to Higuey, and two weeks between Samal and Davao, December 2012.

Some of the comparisons you made aren't farfetched at all: both countries enjoy a tropical climate, with hot and humid summers and warm and rainy "winters". When I was in Punta Cana (November) I remember the temperature was around 19/20, with a bit of wind and the sun wasn't exactly scorching. Davao would have probably been at least 25 degrees and great sun during the same period.

In DR, my wife and I spent most of our time in one of those big 5-star resorts, so I wouldn't take that as a proxy to their culinary tradition. On our trips to Higuey we did try some cheap restaurants though and, to be honest, we weren't too impressed. The cuisine is quite similar to what you could find in inland Colombia: staple food - rice and beans - and a bit of fried plaintain and chicarron thrown in. I liked the coconut bread and, in one occasion I tried some fried prawns, good but nothing to scream for. It could have been that the "delta" with the Colombian cuisine I had tasted when I was there for my wedding/honeymoon wasn't that great, but I didn't consider what I had there exactly memorable.

On the contrary, the menus I saw in Davao had a much larger variety of fish (mainly tuna and seafood), chicken and pork based recipes. What was best, some of those dishes showed a pleasant fusion of Chinese, Malay/Indonesian and Japanese flavours mixed with native recipes. Those who think Pinoy cuisine is fast food and bad copies of American grills really are in for a suprise. Another plus against DR, the food was effectively almost half as expensive as what we paid in Higuey, despite the fact we never ate at high-class establishments.

The figures pro-capite GDP figures would lead one to think DR are twice as wealthy and prosperous as the Philippines. I can't really compare based on only one city and 2 weeks per country, but from the little I saw I didn't really see all of this wealth on the streets of Higuey. The girls were chubby and far scruffier than those I saw in Davao. Perhaps I should be looking at Santiago or La Romana to have a like-with-like comparison, but the people of Davao did look, walk and talk better. No comparison on the urban landscape, architecture side, Davao has a far more modern infrastructure than Higuey. The impression in DR was of a society pretty much left to their own devices, with limited socio-economic uptrends. On the other side, Davao and its people come across as more vibrant and on the rise, even if much of that rise is predicated upon remittances from Japan, Singapore, the Emirates or Europe, or a lot of pretty shrewd foreign investment.

I never had a problem with personal safety in either country, however the danger levels of DR and several of their Caribbean neighbours (starting from Jamaica and Haiti) are very well known to everyone. Perhaps it's unfair to compare DR with what has been almost forcefully turned into the safest (= most fascist) city in the country, but Davao doesn't even begin to compare. When walking the streets of Davao, even the seedier areas like San Pedro, I have never even felt nervous, let alone threatened.

As for the girls, this is a matter of personal tastes but, in my time in Punta Cana and Higuey, I don't remember spotting a single girl that could qualify as remotely attractive by my standards. The only girl I kind of (partly) liked was one we found on the minibus to Higuey on our first trip. She was all smiles, started to talk to us and was interested in Monica being from Colombia. She spoke good English and was kind enough to help us reaching the city centre. She had a cute face with smooth features and nice big breasts, however her waist down was something to forget entirely. And that was the best of the lot :) I am sure one can find better body types around good bars and malls in the bigger cities, but I honestly wasn't in the mood for "anthropology research" :) I would swap the fully proportionate, slender, smooth and tanned Filipina body any time.


1. I haven't been to east side (Punta Cana and Higuey) yet, only Santo Domingo area, Santiago area, and Puerto Plata area plus a bus trip from Haiti in the west all the way to DR. So I can't be sure what you experienced there.

2. Perhaps Davao is an exception as far as the notion food in Phils is bad and overpriced.

3. Agree w/yr impressions on GDP per head. A lot of poverty and desperation in DR just like Phils. Plus, in some ways, infrastructure is worse. Vehicles in DR much worse than Phils on average. I didn't sense the economic growth opportunities in DR that I do in Phils. In 10 years, I suspect PR will be more changed than DR.

4. In some ways, Haiti is safer. It has a much lower murder rate and cops there are tough. They often shoot people who steal or get out of line. But most of Jamaica is very dangerous, much more so for a white than DR.

5. For the girl comparison - I will take Gaisano Mall in Davao vs. Agoda Mall in Santo Domingo. No contest. For every semi-cute local girl I saw in Gaisano, I probably saw 3-5 stunners, a lot more very cute ones, and dozens of semi-cute ones in Agoda. Same would apply if I used Mall of Asia or Greenbelt Mall in Metro instead of Gaisano Mall. Girls in DR are often tall and have fantastic bodies, especially in richer areas. In Davao, most are like 5 4 or less and 5 6 or above is rare. You can also find plenty of gals like those Medellin girls u posted a photo of in higher class areas of DR. Not so for Phils.


1. Again, you're confirming me that my impression (especially as far as women are concerned) would have been different had I visited more upscale cities and their middle class areas.

2. That would be strange. Most of the restaurants I loved to eat at were franchises (Antonio's Grill, Crab House, even Max's) and doubt they will cook better quality food in Davao than in Manila or Cebu. I guess some of those who had a bad experience with Filipino food were on such a meager budget that they could only afford to spend 100/150 a day on food. Food is an obsession of mine, so I will surely have the pleasure to be proven right or wrong when I'll visit the Philippines again and I'll probably move around a lot more.

3. Same impression, then.

4. I didn't know Haiti was actually safer than DR. Perhaps the situation has slipped out of control in the eathtquake-stricken zones. Horror stories about Jamaica abound, so didn't have to do much research there, to compare and contrast. On the other side, I really can't stop praising Davao for being so safe, cheap and welcoming. Being (still) a Pinoy city for Pinoy people, the whole experience has been warmer and more authentic.

5. It's quite funny as my own wife is all curves (in the right places!) and I enjoy it, yet I continue to have a soft spot for the cute, slender and tanned bodies of many Filipinas. :) I have seen an ethnical mix almost full-scale towards black Caribbean during my stay in Punta Cana. Perhaps the mix is somewhat more balanced in Santo Domingo or Santiago? I read some reports from Boca Chica as a place where most girls are pros or semi-pros and of the overweight, cellulite-laden, scruffy looking women who would sell their bodies (and possibly a few STDs) for cheap. Maybe the situation is very different with the middle class girls. By the way, since you mentioned, so it is possible to find Dominican girls of almost pure European descents, with white or light tanned skin and even blonde?
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Postby Rock » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:00 pm

publicduende wrote:
Rock wrote:
publicduende wrote:I have been to both countries too, albeit for a very limited time and in a specific location. Two weeks in Punta Cana, November 2010, with a few trips to Higuey, and two weeks between Samal and Davao, December 2012.

Some of the comparisons you made aren't farfetched at all: both countries enjoy a tropical climate, with hot and humid summers and warm and rainy "winters". When I was in Punta Cana (November) I remember the temperature was around 19/20, with a bit of wind and the sun wasn't exactly scorching. Davao would have probably been at least 25 degrees and great sun during the same period.

In DR, my wife and I spent most of our time in one of those big 5-star resorts, so I wouldn't take that as a proxy to their culinary tradition. On our trips to Higuey we did try some cheap restaurants though and, to be honest, we weren't too impressed. The cuisine is quite similar to what you could find in inland Colombia: staple food - rice and beans - and a bit of fried plaintain and chicarron thrown in. I liked the coconut bread and, in one occasion I tried some fried prawns, good but nothing to scream for. It could have been that the "delta" with the Colombian cuisine I had tasted when I was there for my wedding/honeymoon wasn't that great, but I didn't consider what I had there exactly memorable.

On the contrary, the menus I saw in Davao had a much larger variety of fish (mainly tuna and seafood), chicken and pork based recipes. What was best, some of those dishes showed a pleasant fusion of Chinese, Malay/Indonesian and Japanese flavours mixed with native recipes. Those who think Pinoy cuisine is fast food and bad copies of American grills really are in for a suprise. Another plus against DR, the food was effectively almost half as expensive as what we paid in Higuey, despite the fact we never ate at high-class establishments.

The figures pro-capite GDP figures would lead one to think DR are twice as wealthy and prosperous as the Philippines. I can't really compare based on only one city and 2 weeks per country, but from the little I saw I didn't really see all of this wealth on the streets of Higuey. The girls were chubby and far scruffier than those I saw in Davao. Perhaps I should be looking at Santiago or La Romana to have a like-with-like comparison, but the people of Davao did look, walk and talk better. No comparison on the urban landscape, architecture side, Davao has a far more modern infrastructure than Higuey. The impression in DR was of a society pretty much left to their own devices, with limited socio-economic uptrends. On the other side, Davao and its people come across as more vibrant and on the rise, even if much of that rise is predicated upon remittances from Japan, Singapore, the Emirates or Europe, or a lot of pretty shrewd foreign investment.

I never had a problem with personal safety in either country, however the danger levels of DR and several of their Caribbean neighbours (starting from Jamaica and Haiti) are very well known to everyone. Perhaps it's unfair to compare DR with what has been almost forcefully turned into the safest (= most fascist) city in the country, but Davao doesn't even begin to compare. When walking the streets of Davao, even the seedier areas like San Pedro, I have never even felt nervous, let alone threatened.

As for the girls, this is a matter of personal tastes but, in my time in Punta Cana and Higuey, I don't remember spotting a single girl that could qualify as remotely attractive by my standards. The only girl I kind of (partly) liked was one we found on the minibus to Higuey on our first trip. She was all smiles, started to talk to us and was interested in Monica being from Colombia. She spoke good English and was kind enough to help us reaching the city centre. She had a cute face with smooth features and nice big breasts, however her waist down was something to forget entirely. And that was the best of the lot :) I am sure one can find better body types around good bars and malls in the bigger cities, but I honestly wasn't in the mood for "anthropology research" :) I would swap the fully proportionate, slender, smooth and tanned Filipina body any time.


1. I haven't been to east side (Punta Cana and Higuey) yet, only Santo Domingo area, Santiago area, and Puerto Plata area plus a bus trip from Haiti in the west all the way to DR. So I can't be sure what you experienced there.

2. Perhaps Davao is an exception as far as the notion food in Phils is bad and overpriced.

3. Agree w/yr impressions on GDP per head. A lot of poverty and desperation in DR just like Phils. Plus, in some ways, infrastructure is worse. Vehicles in DR much worse than Phils on average. I didn't sense the economic growth opportunities in DR that I do in Phils. In 10 years, I suspect PR will be more changed than DR.

4. In some ways, Haiti is safer. It has a much lower murder rate and cops there are tough. They often shoot people who steal or get out of line. But most of Jamaica is very dangerous, much more so for a white than DR.

5. For the girl comparison - I will take Gaisano Mall in Davao vs. Agoda Mall in Santo Domingo. No contest. For every semi-cute local girl I saw in Gaisano, I probably saw 3-5 stunners, a lot more very cute ones, and dozens of semi-cute ones in Agoda. Same would apply if I used Mall of Asia or Greenbelt Mall in Metro instead of Gaisano Mall. Girls in DR are often tall and have fantastic bodies, especially in richer areas. In Davao, most are like 5 4 or less and 5 6 or above is rare. You can also find plenty of gals like those Medellin girls u posted a photo of in higher class areas of DR. Not so for Phils.


1. Again, you're confirming me that my impression (especially as far as women are concerned) would have been different had I visited more upscale cities and their middle class areas.

2. That would be strange. Most of the restaurants I loved to eat at were franchises (Antonio's Grill, Crab House, even Max's) and doubt they will cook better quality food in Davao than in Manila or Cebu. I guess some of those who had a bad experience with Filipino food were on such a meager budget that they could only afford to spend 100/150 a day on food. Food is an obsession of mine, so I will surely have the pleasure to be proven right or wrong when I'll visit the Philippines again and I'll probably move around a lot more.

3. Same impression, then.

4. I didn't know Haiti was actually safer than DR. Perhaps the situation has slipped out of control in the eathtquake-stricken zones. Horror stories about Jamaica abound, so didn't have to do much research there, to compare and contrast. On the other side, I really can't stop praising Davao for being so safe, cheap and welcoming. Being (still) a Pinoy city for Pinoy people, the whole experience has been warmer and more authentic.

5. It's quite funny as my own wife is all curves (in the right places!) and I enjoy it, yet I continue to have a soft spot for the cute, slender and tanned bodies of many Filipinas. :) I have seen an ethnical mix almost full-scale towards black Caribbean during my stay in Punta Cana. Perhaps the mix is somewhat more balanced in Santo Domingo or Santiago? I read some reports from Boca Chica as a place where most girls are pros or semi-pros and of the overweight, cellulite-laden, scruffy looking women who would sell their bodies (and possibly a few STDs) for cheap. Maybe the situation is very different with the middle class girls. By the way, since you mentioned, so it is possible to find Dominican girls of almost pure European descents, with white or light tanned skin and even blonde?


- You can debate the food issue with Winston. For me, I will normally spend 500 to 1,000 a day including snacks.

- Boca Chica is a drug infested shithole full of hos and scumbag hustlers so of course, the quality of girls there is going to tend towards the bad side.

- You can find more of almost pure European descent or esp. light tanned skin in Santiago area or the richest districts of Santo Domingo. But as I've said, lighter skinned girls tend to be pickier and not as easy in general. That holds for DR as well.
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Postby Everdred » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:44 pm

Since I've been to both the Dominican Republic and the Philippines, I feel a little bit obligated to contribute to this thread. I've been to the Dominican Republic twice - once in 2008 and once in 2009. In 2008 I went to Juan Dolio for a week and then to Santo Domingo, the capital, for one day. In 2009 I stayed in Boca Chica for a week and then went once again to Santo Domingo for a day. I've only been to the Philippines once, which was back in 2010. I stayed in Manila, the capital, for a week, and I stayed in Puerto Galera, which is in Oriental Mindoro province, for three days. Considering I only went to both countries for such a short period of time, my observations are a little shallow and superficial.

I definitely found the women in the Dominican Republic to be more attractive physically. If you're into T 'n' A, then the Dominican Republic is the place to be. The women there have great physical assets and curvaceous bodies. Also, many Dominican women are normal to tall height. The best word I can come up with to describe Dominican women's physical features is "tantalizing." Filipina women on the other hand could best be described as "cute" and "petite." Their bodies are far more slim than their Dominican counterparts, but their bodies are also often lacking in the T 'n' A field. If you like dark-skinned women with big assets and medium-large frames, go the Dominican Republic. If you like small-framed women who look like they couldn't hurt a fly, and who also have a cute face with a lovely smile, go to the Philippines. The question is, do you prefer the more "spicy" look or the more "innocent" look? And do you prefer brownish-black skin or yellowish-brown skin?

As for food, I was not impressed with either country's cuisine. All of the food I had in the Dominican Republic was somewhat bland and unappealing. All the food I had in the Philippines seemed to be junk fast food. Looking back on my trips, I really didn't know where to look to find good food, but then again I didn't see much tasty-looking food while I was strolling around either. The only dish I really remember liking in the Philippines was the chicken adobo, and the only dish I remember really liking in the Dominican Republic was the grilled red snapper.

Both countries had a pretty strong "rip-off-the-foreigner" culture which got really old really quick. Prices of goods and services are not that transparent in either country, which gives plenty of leeway to the locals to quote ridiculous prices to tourists. And like others said, taxis are far more expensive in the Dominican Republic than in the Philippines. The only time I took taxis in the Dominican Republic was to get from the airport to my hotel and vice versa. But in the Philippines, I took taxis semi-frequently because they were reasonably priced. I found the Filipino taxi drivers to be extremely dishonest though, while I don't remember having any issues with the Dominican taxi drivers.

The language barrier was far greater in the Dominican Republic than in the Philippines. You really really need to speak Spanish to truly enjoy the Dominican Republic. Even though I was staying in mostly touristy areas, I still had an incredibly difficult time communicating in English with the Dominicans. On the upside, I learned Spanish for several years in high school, so I wasn't completely helpless during my trips. On the other hand, I would say zero Tagalog is required for a trip to the Philippines. Even though so many Filipinos have such a thick and almost incomprehensible accent when speaking English, they still speak English with far less errors and far better grammar than those in surrounding Asian countries. They also have pretty decent English listening comprehension skills. On my entire ten day trip, I probably only ran into one or two Filipinos who spoke zero English. I ran into hundreds of Dominicans who spoke zero English. Ironically, I ran into far more Americans in the Philippines than I did in the Dominican Republic. When I was in the Dominican Republic, I was mostly surrounded by South American tourists (especially Brazilians) and European tourists (especially Germans and French).

So, which country do I consider to be the better destination? It's hard to say, but both the Dominican Republic and the Philippines have a very similar vibe and atmosphere to them. I don't think I like one more than the other, or dislike one more than the other. The first day I arrived in the Philippines, I kept thinking to myself that it looks so much like the Dominican Republic. Both countries are tropical, and both countries have lots of people with Spanish ancestry. Both countries are predominantly Catholic. And both countries are quite poor, although I'd say the poverty is a little more in your face in the Philippines than in the Dominican Republic. Maybe it was mostly unfounded paranoia, but I felt a little uneasy walking around both Manila and Santo Domingo. Manila was worse than Santo Domingo though. I had two pickpocket attempts in Manila (one in the daytime and one at nighttime), and zero in Santo Domingo. But let's be fair, I was only in Santo Domingo a total of two days, while I was in Manila a total of seven days.

One thing is for sure though - the Philippines definitely does not feel much like an Asian country. The Philippines would probably fit in more as a Caribbean country than as a Southeast Asian country. If I was an American or Canadian living in North America, I would go to the Dominican Republic first, because airplane tickets are so much cheaper, and the flights are so much shorter. Both countries are worth a visit, but the Dominican Republic is so much closer to the North American continent, therefore I believe it should be visited first by Americans and Canadians. If you're already living in Asia, then by all means go to the Philippines first. If you're looking specifically for pay-for-play, I think both countries have a reasonable amount to offer, although I imagine the Philippines is a little more accustomed to English-speaking customers, and the Philippines is probably just a little bit cheaper in that regard. If time and money allow it, I believe both countries are worth at least one visit.
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Postby ringspun » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:34 pm

I have done Asia 7 times now, and will be hitting the DR in September to have a change of lady!
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