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.