Sunday, January 26, 2014

$40 in Olongapo

Back in December of 1989, I was on board the U.S.S. Leahy when it pulled into Olongapo in the Philippines, so I can say that I have seen, first-hand, exactly what jerks American teenagers can be when they are around young women who are desperate to feed their families.  I abided by the great unwritten law of ships visiting Olongapo: Don't take a camera ashore because somebody might cram it down your throat.  I remember having a Coke at one of the Olongapo bars.  One of the local girls chatted with me and I wound up just giving her a $20 and told her to take the rest of the night off.  The Filipino girls are built like American middle school girls.  I can see being nice to them, but I kept things G-rated.

I did, after all, wind up spending $40 on a gal in Olongapo by the name of Chat Cruz. Some of my readers will rightly suspect I am throwing a curve ball.  I found out she was an unmarried woman with 3 children, so I invited her, her three kids and her mother out to dinner. The tab for a first rate dinner in Olongapo came to $40.  Afterwards, as I walked them home, her youngest — a little boy of about 6 — reached up and caught hold of my little finger as we walked. I couldn't help but wonder how he would cope with his life’s challenges in the years ahead.  Unsurprisingly, nobody ever mentioned anything about those children’s father(s).

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