Girlie bars in bright neon
Roxas Boulevard, Pasay

The picture explains itself. They operate because technically it is not illegal to put up shows of choreographed dance moves, song numbers and even circus acts. Flesh trade is illegal though. So, when these boundaries are crossed, which isn’t unthinkable if you can solve the equation of an aroused crowd and a performer looking for extra cash, and the operator is explicitly promoting it within his territory (like duh), we have a problem.

It’s a power issue. Who objectifies and who’s objectified, who produces the goods and who consumes them, who’s implementing the law, and who can outsmart the law, who can negotiate better. This is funny, this is commerce 101. The tacky neon lights aren’t half bad and they give the nightlife a worldly charm to it.