Friday, February 23, 2007
Vignette: The Price of Soul
Four days of visiting Manila left Trevor Baker baffled. It was a surprise to him that one of the purportedly happiest countries in Asia was also a den of vice and corruption. A dollar bought you a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of beer. Two dollars paid for either a pirated movie or a bootleg album. Five dollars was sufficient to bribe any traffic enforcer while twice that amount got you a whore. The natives didn’t live in nippa huts but their makeshift homes along the streets certainly reminded Trevor of their tribal origins. For one reason or another, it was all too easy to imagine the locals retaining their barbaric roots especially when they ate with their hands or did not remove the heads of fishes from their dinner or had fertilized duck eggs as delicacies.