imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

In My Eyes: Bargirls

Mang Maing once went with his more evil friends to a beerhouse.

It was his first time and he didn’t know what to do.

After ordering a round of beer, three bargirls suddenly entered the scene and sat beside them. They were six beer drinkers that evening and when the 2nd round of beer was consumed, three more bargirls came.

Mang Maing didn’t know what to do.

He said he was so uncomfortable that he stood up and went to the bathroom not to relieve himself but to gather more courage to deal with the girl.

When he went back to his seat, the girl asked if he could order a drink. He looked at his partner. She was around 5’ 3” and had a beautiful figure.

His girl was able to gulp three bottles of beer and when Mang Maing saw that she was already quite drunk, he started to talk. Then he forgot his proper senses and he became “human” like his friends.

Mang Maing’s girl was “game.” She was about 24 or 25 years old. She said her name was Shaira. She was open to anything. She said she came from Samar and that she had been to Quezon City, Manila and Pampanga and that she already had two kids!

Mang Maing was surprised.

“But you only look like 20!” he said.

“Really?” she said. “For that, I like you more!”

Mang Maing and his friends went home at 2:00 the following morning.

“I’m afraid of STDs that’s why I won’t go there, even with my best friends anymore,” he said.

“Why?” I asked.

“It’s money-depleting and bad for my health,” he said.

Mang Maing said going out at night until the following morning saps his strength.

“I need 6 to 8 hours of sleep to keep me going,” he said.

There are an estimated more than 500,000 prostitutes in the country, fellas. They usually work in bars and brothels. There are basically three kinds of prostitutes in the Philippines: those that work out of “casas,” or brothels, and are employed by pimps or brothel owners, those who work in bars, karaokes and hotels, who are usually controlled by the owners of the establishment where they work and freelancers, who work the streets.

Many prostitutes work for pimps.

One Filipino social worker in Cebu told the Japan Times, “There are two types of pimps. The maintainers, who recruit and take care of the girls, and make sure they do not run away. They also push drugs on the girls. The Iti, or wild ducks, chase customers, and bring them to the girls.”

Former prostitute Liza Gonzales told, “Women in this field are often looked at as sinners and home wreckers. But we are not criminals. We are actually victims. Some are victims of rape or incest. Some are girls from rural areas who were fooled by illegal recruiters. We are victims of different circumstances, but we all fell into prostitution,” she said.

Most of the men who use prostitutes in the Philippines are locals not foreigners. You would not get this impression by visiting one of the better known red light districts.

The police arguably do more to help prostitution than stop it.

One sex worker told, “When cops like the apprehended woman, she is forced to have sex with them.”

But how safe are bar girls, fellas?

Each prostitute is given a “sanitary notebook” with her picture, personal data, registration number (if any), and the main articles of the decree that concern her rights as a provider of a service. Her rights include being free to stay or quit the brothel in which she lives and works, debts cannot be used to compel her to stay in a given brothel, and no one can subject her to any abuse.

Each prostitute has to undergo mandatory monthly medical examinations for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If an STD is diagnosed, the brothel pays for medical treatment. The sex worker must show her sanitary notebook to any customer that asks to see it. The manager of the brothel cannot accept any “prostitute-candidate” or applicant who has not first registered and passed a medical examination. The manager also has to report immediately to the sanitary authorities whenever a prostitute is ill, be this STD or non-sexual disease.

“Kahit na,” Mang Maing said. “All those sanitary measures can’t convince me to sleep with a prosti!”

“But they are only human beings trying to make a living, and besides, your Shaira is there,” I said.

“That’s only an experience in life,” he said. “I pity them. Their lives are ruined. I won’t go there again.”

And since then, Mang Maing has gone straight.

No more night life.

No more bargirls.#