When I say bathing outdoors can seem strange, I’m talking about what’s strange to Americans, not Filipinos. People here will bathe fully dressed. Outdoors. It’s completely foreign to most Americans but not really foreign to me anymore. I’ve seen it happening since I was here back in 1986. In fact, I’ve done it myself several times, back when there wasn’t any other way to bathe without waiting for days to do so.
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 (Filipinas) bathe with everything on, including bras, the teen-aged girls usually don’t. With some of the thin clothing they wear, you can practically see everything through the clothing.
Of course, if you’re bathing with them and you do it enough times, you’ll get to see uncovered nipples, buttocks and genitals once in a while even when it’s accidental.
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 of the 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 never took photos. We didn’t have smartphones or digital cameras back then. Even if we did, I probably wouldn’t have taken photos anyway. Some things aren’t meant to be shared.
I’ve taken showers in the rain a couple of times. 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 around here, 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.
It takes time to get used to it. As an American who spent my earlier years in places where there was always at least one 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 a shower and washed my laundry (what I was wearing) all at once.
Photo Attribution: Taking a Bath in the Philippines
By: RT Cunningham
February 24, 2016
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