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Showing posts from April, 2012

Big, Red Vein

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I assume it was a normal season when I was born in 1967. The typhoons raged through the dirt streets of Angeles City every year, yet it never washed away the gregarious GIs, the loud-mouthed go-go girls of the strip clubs and whore houses so eloquently called cabarets. Here in this one Philippine city, I grew up with everyone’s second-hand stories—stories that lingered like the smoke of barbecue meat cooking outside the bars and discos at two in the morning, wafting in and out of my life, sometimes blinding the full view of my adolescence. The clamor of their drama still rings in my ear to this day.

The frenzy and ire outside the military gates of Clark Air Force Base include the whir and hum of jeepneys (army jeeps left by the United States after the Second World War made into colorful commuter vehicles) and tricycle checkpoints that whisk their patrons through the big, red veins of prostitute alley—a girl running topless after a garish Aussey while her friends sit outside on the …