Patay-Sindi (Puta ng Pasay)

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The nightclubs at the other end of that stretch of EDSA are for those leggy, busty model-types who have long, shiny hair and ample curves.  They are for those who prefer their women sensuous and luxurious; the kind of woman you cannot call a “whore.”  For this end of EDSA, where the road reeks of diesel fumes and Tanduay, there is less of the presumptuous and more of the carnal.

I watched them from the bus I was riding.  There were no pretenses in these beerhouses lining the Pasay stretch of EDSA.  You don’t need to look for the “guest relations officers.”  Your GROs are right there, waiting outside the karaoke bars.  There’s no disguising the invitation for vice and flesh.  One stands there, in her backless red dress that barely covers her thighs and breasts.  Still another waits for you in nothing more than a black tube top and extremely tight denim shorts.  Just a few strides away there’s a lady in a black halter top and a black miniskirt, smoking a Philip Morris menthol cigarette through a thick layer of lipstick.

The heavy traffic gave me a bit of time to observe this live whoring taking place right before my eyes.  You would think that prostitutes would make a beeline for young twenty-something types who drive a Mercedes, but this is the other side of EDSA.  Two ladies entered an eatery, sauntering by, thinking that by revealing their ample assets they would get at least one taxi driver to fork over the day’s earnings for sweet release.

I am not a moralist.  I’ve never been to bed with a woman, much less a prostitute, but I can’t help but stare at them.  I stare long and hard – among other things – of the eroticism and tragedy of whoring.  You know where they come from: the provinces, the depressed areas, and blessed with enough beauty and curves they hope to pull their families out of poverty.  Dignity, much less virginity, becomes less and less valuable.  Could you pay your brother’s tuition or your sick father’s medicines with your own two hands?  Yes you could, but not as fast as what you have between your legs.

I don’t know what’s up the other side of EDSA (although I have a good idea of what is “up”), if the model-types have the same stories as these wretches of whores, wherever they came from.

Perhaps I’ll never know, since the traffic cleared up too fast for me to stop staring and wondering.

5 comments on “Patay-Sindi (Puta ng Pasay)”

  1. Reply

    “Puta” is such a strong word. Rude, as a matter of fact. If you had gotten off that bus and “tabled” some of these “ladies” instead, you would have found out they are ordinary people like you or your sister, who live in the metro, and not from some far-flung province as you were thinking. If you get a chance to bring them home (theirs) you’d probably be introduced to the whole family like any of your friends would.

    Many of these girls went to private in grade and/or high school and might even have completed some years in college. They know the “industry” offers bigger earning potential than getting a legit entry-level job. About 30% commission on drinks and a nightly allowance earns about the same amount a call-center agent makes in a day.

    You don’tgo to THAT part of EDSA to screw prostitutes, you go there to get a free lay, that is, if you’ll stay long enough until closing time (about 2:00a.m.) for the anything-goes real happy hour but only if you can beat the chick in the amount of alcohol you can handle.

    If you want a prostitute, that’s t wrong place to look, the flesh market is located a few blocks away, where LRT meets MRT. Or pay the bar fine (of which only 1/3 goes to the girl, the other thirds to the pimp/floor manager and the “house”) and you leave with your chosen one without having to wait for closing time, in the clubs along Roxas Blvd. or Harrison St.

    If you just need a fast fuck, the motel roomboys along Cuneta and Harrison have their “inventory” on standbyand just a text message away. Others even have colored catalogues. And if your budget will allow it, you might get introduced to “contacts” (glamorized whorehouse operators or brothel pimps) who have starlets and models under their watch or Brazilian, Colombian, Russian whores living in a condo nearby.

    What you saw while in the bus isn’t live whoring, it’s marketing.

    The next time you’re stuck in traffic there, try it, offer the GRO P2,000 to screw, you’ll get a fat slap across the face. But if you leave your cellphone number, you’ll get a textmate, and kiss your virginity goodbye.

  2. Reply

    ^ okay… so what is it?

    pardon my naivete. i’m not a very good judge of character or morals or professions. i’m from a place where i don’t see a lot of this. my life is either sheltered, or i’m a hermit.

    although you bring up a rather interesting point: will we stand for it? what they do is anything but “ordinary” at least in my eyes; i can’t imagine my own sister doing it, even if the hospitality industry does pay higher (maybe they make more than i do). it’s not “ordinary.”

    enlighten me: what did i see in that stretch of EDSA leading to the Taft MRT-LRT section?

  3. Reply

    It’s called the”entertainment industry” for all intents and purposes. On the west side it’s the old clubs thrown out by Mayor Lim in his first term. These are the stars and starlets. In the east side, it’s the extras and bit players. You must have seen those from the east side. They need to catch more attention than those from the other side. Imagine had they not paraded their “merchandise” and nobody came to the club, would the P150 allowance suffice to move them over to the next day? To pay the rent? To buy clothes? That is what pushes women to prostitution, the desperation for money. Do your countrymen a good deed everyday. Go visit that beer joint regularly. Heheh.

  4. Reply

    Will we stand for it? I don’t but what can we do, outlaw prostitution without giving them alternatives? Do we have the right to decide who lives and who does not?

    I’ll tell you this story. There was a woman applying for a machine operator job in my factory when I came to interview her, I recognized her from a club in Makati Ave. I pretended not to know her and acted perfectly so. I hired her. That would keep her away from the clubs I thought. The next morning the guard gave me a piece of paper and written on it was a short note:

    “Sir, salamat po sa pagtitiwalang ibinigay mo sa akin. Alam ko pong kilala nyo ang tunay kong pagkatao. Hindi ko magagawa itong pagbabago kung laging merong nagpapaalala sa akin ng nakaraan. Sana po ay maintindihan ninyo ako. Hindi ko po matatanggap ang trabahong ito dahil pati kayo ay madamay pa. Salamat po uli.”

    This only confirms how cruel our society is and biased against “perceived” sex workers. They themselves know the stigma of being in the “entertainment” industry because Pinoys are judgmental and they also know that their past secrets, unless kept in seal, will haunt them forever. Whether “ordinary” or not is beside the point. Yes there ARE prostitutes in these joints, but you wouldn’t believe it if I tell you there are equally as many women who take their job seriously like it were any other. For lack of other choices, I’m not one to blame them.

    To me, lumping them all together in one bunch and labelling them “puta” is totally unfair.

  5. Reply

    ^ of course it’s unfair. i’m only reflecting that unfair view. if it took me to make at least one person launch a tirade against the unfairness of it (you), then that’s fine by me. i’m not one to blame them either, but society is always cruel. and that’s the point: justice. the east side/west side thing is just proof that even in the cruelty of it, there’s something wrong. i’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that some of them take it seriously just like any other job, just as i do mine.

    i don’t think i’m doing my countrymen a good deed by condoning it, though. i mean, your anecdote is a good example of the unfairness of our society. i see them as more than what they are perceived, but come on: does everyone think in the same way you or i do? what will one beer – or one blog entry – do to change things and make a fair and just society without “the industry?”

    nothing, really. one beer? one blog? a debate prostitutes vs. GROs vs. entertainment workers? what does that do for unfairness? nothing. to be honest, it makes me sick to realize i can’t do anything about it. i’m just a “writer,” just as they are “puta” to a lot of people.

    of course it’s unfair to label them. of course it’s unfair to call them “puta.” but how many people will accept that? how many people think the same way? as a blogger and as a writer, i’m supposed to reflect that view no matter how wrong it is, no matter how bad it is. if one person thinks otherwise and tells me how damn wrong it is or how damn wrong i am, then there’s something going for all of us after all.

    so i’m sorry for lumping them all together as “puta,” but i cannot and will not apologize in society’s behalf. i’m not the only one who has/had that perception.

    read through this whole site and i hope you see what i mean.

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