In One Fantasy Club in Manila

a writing by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

I did not even know what made me go there
It was by sudden impulse that I took
the quick decision to come with the group
of the Japanese and Koreans and other
concerned Christians who would like
to observe the nightlife in Manila.
It was one free night anyway during
that church consultation in January.

I have read stories
on the issue of prostitution,
of the nightlife in Manila,
but never had I taken the opportunity
to come inside a club or join with men
in watching the live-entertainment of women.

Then inside the club
I saw the women, beautiful young ones,
that appeared on stage one by one
as the noisy music was played
and the colored lights dazzled
in a confused state.
They moved and danced by the rhythm
that removed piece by piece all that covered
their bodies --their shoes,the blouse,
the skirts,the bras, and their panties
until they all danced there naked
waddling their tongues, dancing
the gesture of the physical intercourse¨
to arouse the spectators.

One of these women approached the table
where men gulped their beer
and she stood there naked and danced
before them the appeal for a bottle of beer
which one of the men willingly responded
after having touched her legs.
She grabbed it, danced to the center stage
and poured out all the contents
of the beer bottle on her head
like a woman in damned drunkenness.

And she did the same thing for five times
approaching the tables of the amused spectators
for bottles of beer and one by one she poured
out all the content of the bottle upon her head
making her wet all over like a fresh newly-wed.

The men laughed and clapped loud
Such a great performance of the human art!
But I saw no smile on her face
and on the faces of her other comrades
as they continued to dance naked
at the beat of the music.

I saw the club an island of fantasy
for the joy on the faces of these women
could not be painted
for the greatness of music and dance
was diluted by mere noise and the joyless
movements of the women`s sacrificed bodies.

I saw the club an island of fantasy
And what became more real
were the spectators
who in seeking to be entertained
shared the conspiracy
to trample the dignity of these women.

And what became more real
was the beer bathing lady who cried out
the aggression to restore
such a lost dignity
in a symbolic way.

(written after the visit in a nightlife in Manila)

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