Still a Green Light for Red Light Districts

A red-light district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, adult theaters, etc. are found. The term originates from the red lights that were used as signs of brothels. Areas in many big cities around the world have acquired an international reputation as red-light districts.

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Manila

The Philippines is just an inch of the total area in the whole world, that deems prostitution illegal. But despite the legal implications on this nasty business, the so-called Red Light Districts are still booming and seemed to be expanding every year.

Manila, the capital of the Philippines holds a big chunk of the total area wherein prostitution is considered illegal under the state’s Anti Prostitution Act of 2010. Prostitution caters to both local and foreigners in the country, and the media often tags it as “sex tourism since most of the foreigners from all four corners of the globe, come to the Philippines to avail of this filthy services.

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The We.Hrvst Squad coordinated to some researchers and local bloggers to dig deeper and know the real reason on why Prostitution still exists in the country. We conducted surveys and ask subtle questions for us to have something to start with.

Taft Avenue

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Taft Avenue is the home base of the brand, and we started our research here. We started asking a couple of locals in the area and we ended up talking with a guy who claims to have certain “contacts” on one of the prostitution rings in Manila. It was already 6PM when we met “Andrei” not his real name, a tricycle operator in the area.

Marami, talaga dito sa Maynila, May mga matatanda na, may mga bata pa, at  minsan may estudyante pa” 

We also asked Andrei if we could interview some of his contacts, but he declined. He told us that most of his contacts are students and works in this filthy business discreetly. So we decided to ask one of our friends “Mike” to try contacting Andrei’s contact and pretend that he will avail of her services. Since our friend works as a bartender in one of the establishments in the area, we asked another friend of ours, who happened to be a security officer to guarantee  his safety just in case something goes wrong. We handed Mike a notebook containing all of the interview questions that will be helpful for us to get a hold of what’s really happening around and how does things really work.

Tricia’s Story

Tricia, not her real name , is a 21 year old full time university student  in one of the schools in the area. According to Andrei, Tricia is not new in the business and been doing this since she was 17 years old. Her mom left her when she was five, and her dad works as a construction worker. She decided to immerse herself in this kind of business, for her to desperately support her studies and day to day expenses. According to Andrei, the price of sex in Manila depends on 2 things. First the looks, and second the age. In this case Tricia is one of the “expensive” ones on Andrei’s contacts. The asking price is PHP 5,000 for two-hours of “quality time” of course it can go higher when the client is a foreigner.  According to Tricia, it can go higher to PHP 25,000 pesos (3 days of companionship). Her services not only focus on sex, sometimes people hire her for companionship, dates, and filling in as a girlfriend for a certain period of time. Thus the term “Girlfriend Experience”. Tricia also told us that she knows a lot of women that also engage in this kind of business because of poverty. Some of them even have their parents as their pimps. Imagine, carrying your daughter on your womb for nine crucial months, and raise her up to sold her like raising a pig to slaughter.

“siyempre Maputi, matangkad, nagmomodel din sa mga carshow yan, talagang mahal talaga”

Online Gateways to Prostitution

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Every time we hear the word “walker”, the first thing that comes into our minds is that character from a hit zombie TV series. But on the streets and online, the term walker means something related to this filthy pleasures. Walkers range from PHP 2,500 to PHP 3,500 depending on how many hours the client would avail the services of the walker. The transaction set up is simple. The client will send a message on his desired walker and agree on the price, meet up place and hour of service. Unlike with Tricia’s case, Clients could haggle on the price depends on how they engage into the conversation since walkers doesn’t have a regular pimp to share the profit with.

What makes them engage into this kind of business?

The answer is simple. Poverty. Some of the main causes of poverty in the Philippines include low economic growth, low job quality, high inflation, high population growth, a lacking agriculture sector and recurring natural disasters. The Philippines struggles with poverty and vast inequality between social classes. (https://www.reference.com/world-view/causes-poverty-philippines-a9bd38a30bc18b2b)

As of 2016, the unemployment rate in the country is gradually increasing. Some decent employment opportunities just can’t provide enough wages to its workers to feed their family and provide with their daily needs. Some of the women who engage in this type of business view this type of industry as an easy money opportunity. Some women even say it’s a win-win situation for them, because they’re technically being paid to have fun and enjoy themselves at the same time.

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” At present day, a source from the Philippine Commission on Women states that “one in five women aged 15-49 has experienced physical violence since age 15; 14.4 percent married women suffered physical abuse from their husbands; and more than one-third (37%) of separated or widowed women have experienced physical violence”. Now the rest is unimaginable.” – Miss Kalibutan (Touch Me, Not)

Imagine the gruesome physical abuse that a young girl could endure in this type of business, aside from the psychological trauma that they can feel by having their own parents sold them to strangers in exchange of money that can only provide for them in just a matter of weeks, and then do it all over and over again.

To read more about the sexual harassment cases in the country please refer to
www.misskalibutan.wordpress.com

It’s not too late to save the women or at least spare the children from this evil and monstrous act. The only thing we know, is that if no one avails for this services, no one will engage in this type of business anymore.

 

Credits:

Miss Kalibutan 

Wikipedia

Clyde Pasamonte

References

https://www.reference.com/world-view/causes-poverty-philippines-a9bd38a30bc18b2b

https://photos.travelblog.org/Photos/70262/882160/f/8459351-This-is-the-Red-Light-District-of-Manila-0.jpg

 

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