Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dwarves in Philippines Plan to Build Colony There They Can Live in Peace

Alejandro Doron, one of Manila's many dwarves, hopes to escape daily harassment and ridicule by starting a dwarf-only community on a plot of land in Manila

With his jet-black hair, golden skin and hazel eyes, Alejandro Doron Jr is the sort of man who regularly stops people in their tracks. He may be good-looking, but he knows why people stare. He's small – 117cm (3ft 10in) small, in fact.

As one of Manila's many unanos or dwarves, Doron hopes to end the harassment he faces daily by starting the Philippines' very first little people colony.

The 35-year-old bartender works at Manila's only "dwarf bar", the Hobbit House, where he and his colleagues, ranging in height from 76cm to 135cm, serve tourists Hefeweizen beer and New York ribeye steaks, as dwarf comedians and Elvis impersonators perform on stage.

Just a 10-minute drive away, in the red light district of Makati, other dwarves don gold-and-black Speedos to perform in oil wrestling matches. Still others undress for fascinated sex tourists.

While there are no official figures for the Philippines, dwarfism – of which there are more than 200 distinct varieties – is generally defined as being 147cm or shorter.