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   I was watching some sleazy softcore flick at Pinoy Box Office last night (I think it starred Roi Vinzon, who lost his bid for the Baguio City Council last election) where a stripper came on and danced to the tune of “Lady in Red/The Way You Look Tonight.”  It wasn’t particularly erotic: it reminded me of Wendy Valdez in “Margarita.”  And shedding your clothes (OK, taking off your bra from under your negligeé) to the tune of bad karaoke music doesn’t help, either.

   It’s not like I’m a morally-upright person: I’ve been to more than a few strip clubs before (because they serve cheap beer, and not because I’m a sex addict).  Not that I can say anything about floor shows that involve lathering up the dancer with a bar of Mr. Clean.  I can tell you about floors sticky with spilled beer, the unappealing aroma of Hope and smoke machines, and the unmistakable smell of sweat and semen.

   One thing I’ve observed is that the Filipino stripping catwalk has transformed from being something confined to bra-and-panties routines to accommodate fetish.  This involves everything from leather-and-lace to lingerie to traditional costumes.  Japan is particularly known for enjo-kōsai, subsidized dating that involves Japanese schoolgirls.  This has been adapted to in local erotic tableaus, with entertainers dressed in sexed-up versions of parochial schoolgirl uniforms.  Akin to what you would see in animé.

   Music also adds to the tableau, but it’s something generally confined to slow music from the days of the jukebox.  It’s not unusual to see strip show routines that involve Tom Jones hits, from something as obvious as “Kiss” to something as dubious as “Green Green Grass of Home.”  But that has given way to Lito Camo dance music, trance, and lately, Sean Kingston (damn “Beautiful Girls”).

   Oh, you should check out Pablo Francisco.

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