Metro Manila Barkada Chatroom is probably the most populated Yahoo chat rooms among the regional chat rooms in the Philippines. It is not only limited to those residing in Metro Manila. It welcomes all Filipinos from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and from other parts of the world. Indians, Persians, Canadians and others visit the chat room. A twenty-three Persian said he joined the chat room because he believed it was the place where he could find a nice and funny girl.
In a chat room, one may opt to join the group chat or may invite a person in the room to have a private chat. Group chats most often do not have a clear topic. It is just a venue of throwing out loud thoughts and a way of promoting oneself to get a chat mate.
Chat Room Norms
Like other chat rooms, Metro Manila Barkada has made a subculture. There are implicit set of rules on how to interact with a chat mate. Opening a conversation starts with the three letters, ASL, abbreviation for age, sex, and location. Revealing one’s real name on the start of conversation is not really a norm of Metro Manila Barkada chat room unless his chat mate wants to add him as friend in Facebook or unless he is a foreigner lost in Metro Manila Barkada chat room. The next part of the conversation is the yahoo user asks if his chat mate has a webcam and if he can view her face. For a chat to prosper, showing the chat mate’s appearance is necessary. If she says no to webcam or picture, he will insist. If he still fails, he says goodbye. Everybody wants to win or play fair in the chat room. A twenty-eight year old said he liked to see his chat mate’s face because he wanted to make sure that he was not chatting with a gay man. When asked if he was scared to have an ugly chat mate, he said, “Honestly, yes.” In a chat room, chat mates for the very first time can divulge on delicate subjects such as love life, virginity and other personal stories. Online anonymity makes it convenient to disclose these topics. At the same time, no one can be physically present to hit and slap someone if the other releases a nasty joke or an offensive remark.
Boredom and loneliness are some of the reasons why people join the chat room. Chatting has been a routine for some. It is like a sleeping pill for those who chat before they go to bed. But most of the time, the chat room serves as a lovers’ nest and a flirting station.
Female,23, single here. Hi, I’m 23 male from Pakistan. I am single. I am an honest true lover. I need honest true lover girl for friendship or marriage. I can come to your country 18 to 50 years old accepted. Thirty-three, male, Manila, any girls for hire here? Gusto ko lang may kausap. I’m alone po kasi dito sa bahay? These are a few examples of showing interest in looking for chat mates who can be more than chat mates. People online are lax in asking, “May boyfriend ka na ba?” The risk of getting rejected becomes a less threat for there is no face-to-face conflict and uneasiness.
But, cheap talk also can circulate inside the chat room. There are quite a number of green-minded people. Husbands and wives, left by their overseas spouses enter the chat room to invite people who want to have sex chat. Sometimes, they have sex chat with fellow married people.
Where to go
Moreover, Metro Manila Barkada chat room users can get insights and entertainment in MetroManilaBarkada.com, an online magazine-style blog. It talks about lifestyle, campus life, entertainment and sports, and love and romance. It shares experiences and trends that are relevant for every Metro Manila Barkada chatter.