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Nelson is obsessed with avoiding work, long-term relationships and all other forms of responsibility. Sex, Nelson's other major obsession, is what brings him to the Philippines, having heard the archipelago's bawdy lore from a former mistress he had shared with his father. With dark humor and insight, Bacho explores the clash of American and Filipino culture, as Nelson soon finds himself pulled between Anita and Marta, two tango-dancing matriarchs, and embroiled in his own private heart of darkness. The resolution of this increasingly violent menage-a-trois takes place within the context of a talent contest, a civil war, a coronation and an exploding presidential candidate.