There’s this stupid stereotype I grew up with. Having a mother who hails from the southern part of this country and growing up in Angeles city near the seedy red light district, people claim I’m a GI baby, even though I was never the mestiza looking type.

You see, I grew up with hodgepodge of foreigners and their halfling kids. My first friend was a white kid named Stephanie, who lived beside our house.

To go to my former school, you have to pass by Fields Avenue where bars and sleazy clubs light up the street. Once, I came home late from school and the jeepney I rode unloaded some passengers just outside a club. I still vividly remember the dizzying lights while a naked woman danced, enticing an all male crowd.

This was the kind of neighborhood I grew up with. Thirteen years after kicking out the US bases, nothing much has changed.

Student who graduate from a public elementary school near the red light district go on to become GROs and entertainers in night clubs or work for sex dens and internet cafes, catering to the demand for cybersex.. The heartbreaking part of it is that most of these sleazy establishments are owned by foreigners, the very same people we have welcomed with our infamous hospitality. These are the people who rape our women and children and brand them as prostitutes, as if being one gives them the right to do so.

My father used to have a stable job that paid well inside Clark Air Base. We lived off the benefit of having the US bases in the country. But we paid the price in exchange for sovereignty, just like thousands of others who lost their jobs in 1992.

Perhaps there is all the more reason for us to be enraged for what happened in Subic.

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