Tagum by the night


By Cha Monforte

 As early a little past the twilight each day, bar girls, commonly known as GROs, fresh from bath and clad in sexy attires, can already be seen sitting in a row of chairs in that section of street leading to the Totit-market-slaughterhouse complex. Alas, gising na ang Tagum by the night.

I’m not so really a night owl. I still sport a cellphone about the age of 5110, and I couldn’t yet do a high-tech editor writing online in airconditioned malls or in posh coffee bars with WIFI. Often rice drowns out my dream of buying a laptop. It’s crisis time, then and now.  But I got few friends who give me occasional peeks and perks on new nighttime goings on as they love wine, women and music. Well, I’m going towards the mid 40s, and I often drowse off now in the midst of unrepentant Red Horse or San Mig beer guzzlers. It’s unlike before the 80s and 90s that I could still manage to stagger to get home many cracks of dawn. Those were venturesome youthful days to cherish anyway. Besides the fading youthful vigor, it’s also painful to the pocket to squander meager money earned hard for a living in order to continue writing. To live to write, not the other way around. I’m no sour gripe. 

Such girlie spectacle in the frontage of videoke bars that dotted here and there in the city’s undeclared red light district around the Totit complex is saying that Tagum true to its being a magnetic sub-regional service center is just maintaining the status quo of being the usual nighttime R & R hub of the neighboring municipalities. When money flows in from the youths and infidel husbands from neighboring towns and from militarymen from camps stationed somewhere to the city’s red light district including its flesh trade, the city cashes in on from the “night investors” in effect. They also sustain a living and spark a multiplier for Tagum’s nighttime economy.

By the peaceful vivacity of Tagum’s nighttime I saw for once in recent booze that left me sober for drowsing off enough, Councilor Mylene Baura’s standupper in the City Council about gang wars last week would seem to be mythical issue bordering on unfounded xenophobia on the issue she unduly raised. She could have done more homework to belabor an A-1 info. As also a Solo Maria in Tagum SP like BM Janet Gavina of DavNor SP, perhaps Baura could hammer more meat in privilege speeches on other glaring issues such as the monitoring and compliance on hygiene rules for the CSWs (commercial sex workers), the soft, respectable DSWD and NGO parlance for the prostis and buntogs, or those in in the world’s oldest profession quenching the thirst for lust of men.

But then, she could also rile on the hideous character of the city’s flesh trade, which could be denied of since it is discreet, negotiations-based and a sideline business among GROs that opens up as soon as the owners close their girlie videoke bars past the midnight.

There’s also this unwanted location of internet cafes just adjacent to the girlie bars. Internet cafes which have often the youths and schoolchildren as customers should never be located adjacent or proximate to the bars as they are afforded a good view of the allure, vices and worldly temptations put up by those paying for the sin taxes.

Concerned students would go to 24-hour internet cafes up until around 10 PM for a mix of web research for tomorrow’s assignment, surf, chat or play. Besides that the innocent youths are subject of the bad influence casts by the sight, they are also at risk of the maoys, blankos and lokos from those who have already much of the drink and merrymaking.

But then the councilor can also hit on the breast exposures that happened on webcam inside semi-enclosed cubicles of an internet café just beside a girlie bar in a city. Well, a still sober friend of mine last week chanced one, looking like a coed, chatting with, cajoling a foreigner, perhaps not the usual horny Indian. But maybe she did only bare above her waist so she could run to the nearest 24-hour Western Union outlet. But this is already besides the point, and would need another essay. (For online edition, visit my blog at: https://cha4t.wordpress.com)


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