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In 1965 my first Navy ship sailed from Florida to Europe or the Mediterranean to be more precise. I was 18 years old at the time my first trip out of the good old USofA. It was all new and wondrous to a young kid from the Dorchester section of Boston. Our first Port o call after sailing by the Rock of Gibraltar was Torremolinos Spain. It was a seaside vacation destination for British and Scandinavian tourists and now, toss in American Sailors on shore leave. (Just to add flavor)

Beaches, Clubs with legal drinking for us and tourist ladies as far as the eye could see. California had Disneyland, but this was better and I was tall enough to ride all the rides. Plus all the local men wore skin tight shirts and pants and carried “Man Purses” We Americans wore shorts or jeans as did the rest of the tourists from northern Europe. But those Man-purses” seemed to put off the visiting tourist girls.

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Rico Suave was not even a thing yet but there he was, actually hundreds of them on every beach (They wore Speedos) and their tight shinny shirts in the club and on the street. The Rico’s all carried a “Man Purse” everywhere they went. But later that year we were in England, I never saw one being carried in England or most European countries north of. France. Then, years later they disappeared into fashion history. They might have tried them in the US but never in any club that my friends visited.

Now shockingly here in 2015 in the Philippines, they are back 50 years later, but being used once again. I started noticing them in the malls, at first I assumed they were holding their ladies bags while they shopped. But no they belonged to the guys and they will proudly tell you that they are not a Man Purse but a Men’s Sling Bag. But I noted that they seemed required to stress the word Men’s when explaining what it was. I saw two of my twenty something nephews using them, and was forced to bite my tongue. (That didn’t last long) because after a cocktail or two I started laughing and asked them about them. The subject was quickly changed.

For the past few months when standing on my roof patio having my morning coffee while observing the street I noticed that 3 out 5 guys walking by had one over their shoulder. Now it’s been over 15 years since I’ve been to the US but I’m hoping it is not a style originating from there and made popular again by liberals. Has anyone seen it sprouting up in Europe again? Will we be cited by the Fashion Police if we don’t have one? Of course the Sling Bag (Man Purse) is a required fashion accessory by our one friend who lives in Tagaytay.

Now before the rest of our friends of LiP get upset at my picking on the fine city of Tagaytay please go to LiP archives and read “My Rant” (October 12th 2015) and you’ll see why.

Well that’s enough on that subject and if any reader has a wonderful stylish Man Purse” or “Sling Bag” please note that it was not you I was talking about in this article, but “Those other guys!” Please understand, I’m a guy stuck in the past, resistant to change and the idea of my carrying a shoulder bag is just New to Me! Cargo shorts have enough pockets to carry anything I need.

I carry a money clip, a small ID case for regular use and a slightly larger one for shopping if I need credit cards and extra ID, plus the ever present Zippo lighter.
This is not new and I’ll never need a Man Purse”!!!

Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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john barnes
john barnes
6 years ago

paul,

you are correct the man purse is not a liberal idea. its the the other to what you believe. remember we in good ole usa like to copy europeans alot. for example of mayonnaise on french fries from popular movie by pulp fiction that started that crap. yet good article again; keep smb flowing.

queeniebee5
queeniebee5
6 years ago

Hi Paul, That’s funny you should think of that, but I’ve seen many Filipinos’s for years carrying small purses/bags including paper handled gift bags that a store might give out without any shyness about it.:) My son is super into urban fashion and for years has been carrying a messenger type bag or British satchel type bag to carry his laptop in. This international style has actually been around for quite a while now:) It’s just practical for men on- the- go who might not have a car to keep essentials at hand, or is riding a bike or taking… Read more »

queeniebee5
queeniebee5
6 years ago

Hi Paul, That’s funny you should think of that, but I’ve seen many Filipinos’s for years carrying small purses/bags including paper handled gift bags that a store might give out without any shyness about it.:) My son is super into urban fashion and for years has been carrying a messenger type bag or British satchel type bag to carry his laptop in. This international style has actually been around for quite a while now:) It’s just practical for men on- the- go who might not have a car to keep essentials at hand, or is riding a bike or taking… Read more »

Tito Joe
Tito Joe
6 years ago

Paul, I agree 100%. No man should ever carry a purse. If we do need to carry anything at all….use a backpack or Hire a porter! We do however pack up a bag of stuff to carry but we leave it in the car most times when we are away from home in the Philippines. Things like toilet paper, first aid kit stuff. Anyone that’s travels around the Philippines knows exactly why and what to carry for sure. My pockets carry a money clip with two credit cards, one pocket knife, since I was raised that every man should always… Read more »

Rusty Bowers
Rusty Bowers
6 years ago
Reply to  Tito Joe

Tito Joe,

I bet your like Tim on Home Improvement, right? By that I mean your a man’s man but as caring as all get out. At least that’s what I’ve concluded about the members on this site.

Nope, no purse carrying for me either. Weeeell, unless my wife says can you watch one of my 50 purses while I go someplace. It will just take a minute. isn’t a minute 60 seconds? Or is a minute longer in the Philippines?

I do carry a backpack. There handy.

Rusty

AJ UK
AJ UK
6 years ago

Hi Paul

When I was last working in South Korea a few of the guys started using the Man Bags. Some were European and another was Filipino.

My wife suggested that I got one and I suggested she find a divorce lawyer if she ever expected me to use or wear one!

There is a very funny episode of Friends where Joey wears a Man Bag to an audition and everyone thinks he is gay. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tqQj4loAgg

Man bags are of course the principal reason why Britian wants out of the European Union!

Cheers

AJ UK

Derek
6 years ago

Hi Paul , never had a purse, never had Mayonnaise on fries or chips as we call them
Just good old malt vinegar and salt that’s all you need on fish and chips,
I like English mustard because it is a bit spicy but mayonnaise you can keep it ,
Was in that meat plus restaurant in subic having a burger the waiter give me the mustard
Straight away he said to me I know foreigners don’t like mayonnaise I said your a clever
Lad you’ll go far, much prefer the burger in Texas joe , Derek in pasig.

Derek
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Hi Paul, will try to find sit -in-bull next time we go to subic heard a lot of good things
About their food, fish and chips sounds good have an idea were it is but it looks like
It’s down a side street I’ll find it one day, ?Derek in pasig.

Leo
Leo
6 years ago

Paul, At first I really didn`t know whaat you were even talking about the man bags… Then I started really thinking about the subject how it has been here in my home country Finland. I did made a conclusion that during my 59 years I really don`t remember seen any Finns carrying a man bag. Maybe my memory is not anymore so bright as it should, but nope. Some men who want to keep their doctors receipts for the pharmacy or their papers for a car or so in a one place for safe…like that in a small briefcase yes.… Read more »

Leo
Leo
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

🙂

Alexander
Alexander
6 years ago

I think this trend (here in the pi) is gaining momentum as a possible scare tactic. I live in the province now and most body guards conceal carry in them. People here in the pi are not happy with a small .38 or 9mm they go all the way and only carry 45 caliber which may warrant the need of the “man purse” as authoritative abuse here int he Philippines gets worst people are doing all they can to try and fight back. Well anyways that’s my opinion.

gezel
gezel
6 years ago

That’ s one thing that puzzle me coming home to Bacolod after 13years living in the Uk granted our last visit was in 2011 seeing men with sling bags even my brothers and nephews are wearing it. Why? Don’t have the heart to ask or to offend.

Rusty
Rusty
6 years ago

I carry my backpack. I’ve had one wherever I’ve traveled. It is so handy. I carry a fold up umbrella, my tablet, my wife and her tablet in my backpack.

Rusty I

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