Those who think they know Matt Forney solely from the noise generated by his Molotov cocktail-throwing persona are missing out on a lot.
You might be surprised to know that he is very much a gentleman in real life, always willing to lend a hand to those needing help with technical aspects of blogging, site management, and related issues.
(Click on the image above for purchase details on Amazon)
It’s just that he despises nonsense and pettifoggery, and won’t hesitate to rip into people or things that upset his acute sense of right and wrong.
Real-world journalism desperately needs people like Forney, whether it knows it or not, and his voice often feels like breath of fresh air moving through a musty house.
Not only that, but the guy has some balls, and that has to be acknowledged. This is someone who actually hitch-hiked across the United States in his mid-20s, something that statistically is probably more dangerous than driving a taxi in Mogadishu.
His latest book is a “lessons learned” account of his three months of living in the Philippines. Why did he decide to go there? Well, because he was in his late 20s, looking for adventure, and had the guts to do it. What more reason could a man need? As he recounts it:
I was on a pub-crawl with Mark Zolo, aka the Naughty Nomad, an Irish writer known for his exploits traveling the world and picking up girls. After ambling around the half-deserted streets, trading funny stories of our travels and getting ripped off on Bud Lights, we made our way to a quiet lounge bar near Jackson Square. I mentioned to him that I was considering going to Thailand, mainly because I wanted to start exploring the world and it seemed like a decent enough place to dip my toes. “Don’t go to Thailand,” Zolo warned. “Go to the Philippines.”
Thus the seeds were planted that would sprout into a life-changing odyssey in an alien land. Do the Philippines: How to Make Love with Filipino Girls in the Philippines is Forney’s account of that experience. It is part travel guide, and part personal memoir; and it is one of the most enjoyable and practical travel accounts I’ve read in a long while.
The book is separated into several sections: a general introduction, a country guide, a discussion of how to approach and interact with Filipinas, advice on living in urban environments, and a “lessons learned” type of conclusion. I should make it clear here that this is a book for men only: it is a guide for men interested in going to the Philippines for the specific purpose of meeting women.
Those looking for a guide to scuba diving in blue lagoons, or exploring the gastronomical delicacies of the Mindanao, are warned to go elsewhere.
I have never been to the Philippines, but if I ever do go, this is the book that I would want to pore over before I left. Forney’s prose, which runs as easy and smoothly as a mountain stream, gives you everything you need to get the most out of your stay in-country.
Those looking for “game” advice will not be disappointed: you have it all laid out here, from the initial approach, to text game, going on dates, logistics, and all the rest. This type of advice never gets old, and if nothing else serves to motivate and inspire readers to greater and greater feats of conquest.
Forney also goes out of his way to credit his sources, something that too often goes unheeded in the literary world, and says much about his integrity. What impresses him most of all with the women is their pure femininity, a quality that is too often conspicuously lacking in women here in the US.
The sections I found most interesting were the discussions of culture, social rules, and lifestyle. These sections showcase his powers of observation and are what makes this type of travel account really worth buying. He tells us, for example, that:
For lodging, I recommend getting an apartment in either Makati or the Fort (also known as Bonifacio Global City). These are the wealthiest parts of Metro Manila, and by extension the safest. Having a nice apartment in a nice part of town will also help you seal the deal with girls. Quezon City, on the northern end of Metro Manila, is also a safe place to live, but its relative distance from other parts of the city makes logistics kind of a pain.
This is the kind of specific, actionable advice that travelers need to see.
For some reason, the enjoyment of travel memoirs does not seem to depend on any desire to visit the place in question. I’m not sure why that is, but I do have a theory. People like to read about the pure adventure of travel: the planning, the experiences, the stories, and the impressions.
And it’s all here. Beyond this, I think it’s impressive that a 27-year-old guy just packed up and moved to a country he had no experience with, and managed to live there for three months with no problems.
There are some excesses here, as might be expected: some of the graphic scatological descriptions leave little to the reader’s imagination. But I suppose this may be just a stylistic preference on my part.
But this is a minor quibble. All in all, this is an extremely useful account, and one that I enjoyed reading. There is no padding here, no frills: only the lean prose of a man who has been there and done that.
One hopes that Forney will build on this success, and produce more travel accounts in the years ahead. I for one will want to read them.