The slogan goes that it is “more Fun in The Philippines,” and when it comes to midget boxing, they could not be more correct.
There are lots of reasons to come to Manila, slums, crime, gun-related police brutality, and of course, Ringside Bar. Ringside bar is the home of midget boxing in the Philippines, but more on that later, let’s start with a look at the history of little people bars in the Philippines.
Many moons ago, a well-intentioned guy whose name we don’t know founded a bar called the Hobbit House. The idea of the Hobbit House was that it would have entertainment (by normal-sized people), but the service staff would be little people, midgets, or dwarfs, depending on your linguistic take to things. There was a high entry fee, decent food, and a nice selection of beers to be had.
The other, and I guess the main point was that said little people also gained (kinda) non-exploitative gainful employment, rather than in rather abusive environments.
For many years this worked very well, and the Hobbit House in Manila was a great place to hang out, although I visited with at least one person who was rather disappointed by the performance of the midgets, lousy decrying that they “didn’t do anything.” I think he was expecting some kind of show, or perhaps being able to bowl with them, or something, I didn’t let the conversation progress.
So, whilst the Hobbit House was raking it in other less scrupulous entrepreneurs saw a more sinister business opportunity. What if the midgets actually did stuff? And thus, the Ringside Bar was born.
Ringside Bar sits at the top of Burgas Street, the primary/whoring area of Manila, and is now the Midget Boxing Manila stronghold.
Nightly Jimmy the Midget (I am on first name terms with him) boxes against challengers with people charged for refereeing the match and an overall good time had by all. There is also lady boxing, wrestling and super strength female arm wrestlers. The general feeling is that of a late 19th-century freak show! The other thing they are famous for is overcharging people and making “mistakes” on credit cards. Still worth going mind, just pay as you go and don’t arm wrestle any women.
And so back to the Hobbit House Bar! Alas market forces intervened, and goodwill only went so far. The Hobbit House closed its door a few years ago, leaving the little people jobless.
The moral of the story? No good deed goes unpunished, and it is the mighty warriors of Ringside Midget Boxing Bar Manila that still hold gainful employment.
Note; Midgets and dwarves are sometimes known as “little people,” they are not to be confused with Elves, or Gnomes, who are, in fact, mythical creatures. Also, midget boxing is funny.