Gray Matter


Outdoor Bathing in the Philippines

RT Cunningham | August 2, 2020 (UTC) | Culture

bathing outside PhilippinesOutdoor bathing can seem strange. I’m talking about what’s strange to Americans, not Filipinos. People will bathe there, outdoors, fully dressed. It’s completely foreign to most Americans but not really foreign to me anymore.

I saw it happening multiple times since the first time I saw it in the Philippines in 1986. In fact, I did it myself several times, when there wasn’t any other way to bathe without waiting for days to do so.

Photos of Outdoor Bathing are Not Safe for the Web

Most aren’t safe and most are definitely not safe for work. Some of them would be classified as child pornography by our overzealous government agencies. While many Filipino women bathe with everything on, including bras, the teen-aged girls usually don’t. When they’re wearing thin clothing, you can practically see everything through the clothing.

Of course, if you’re bathing with them and you do it often enough, you’ll get to see uncovered private parts completely by accident. It comes with the territory, so to speak.

When I Bathed Outdoors

Way back in 1986, my wife, Josie, and I visited her parents and siblings. They were living in the Kalaklan neighborhood, and they had no place to bathe other than at the central water well. In the morning, many of us would go there and bathe. I would wear nothing but shorts (and underwear beneath them) and flip-flops but some other guys wore their T-shirts as well.

The girls would wear thin dresses, panties and flip-flops. While they were bathing, I would always get an eye-full. We’re talking about girls of all ages. I’ve taken showers in the rain a few times myself. When the rain comes down harder than it does from a shower head, it’s fun to take some bar soap and shampoo and get out in it. I’ve never showered outdoors naked, but I’ve been tempted to do so.

A lot of children, under the age of 10, take a naked shower in the rain at the beginning of rainy season every year. It’s not a big deal. It would probably be called child abuse in America.

Bathing Clothed Instead of Naked

It takes time to get used to it. As an American who spent my earliest years in places where there was always at least one indoor shower available, I had a hard time showering with clothing on. It’s a mental thing. I had to keep telling myself that it wasn’t any different from swimming in a pool. Except for the soap and shampoo, of course. Well, at least it killed two birds with one stone. I got to take a shower and wash my laundry all at once.

Photo Attribution: Wandelusting Me
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in February 2016.

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