Monday, April 5, 2010

Barretto in Olongapo: Bars rito

Barretto, a barangay of Olongapo, is best known not for its beaches, but for those young ladies and barely teens roaming the place especially in the dead of the night. If you happen to pass by the area, you'll see that the place is practically a long stretch of bars, nightclubs and restos catering to foreigners. And where there are foreigners, there are young ladies out there.

And this is very sad since that place should actually be advertised for its fine beaches, not for the sheer number of young ladies and prostitutes offering sexual services to old Americans and Europeans.

I saw teenagers, groupies, wandering around and waiting for customers. These teenagers wait for customers in one of the popular joints there. I also saw old fogeys roaming and picking these teenagers, like they pick fish in the wet markets.

Olongapo has great potentials for tourism yet, it seemed that the local government either has no money to fund great tourism events or simply too concerned with getting a slice of the smuggling activities in SBMA. If you visit Subic Bay, you'll feel that the place has a lot of potential yet, most portions of the base are being neglected. The Binictican housing project is just a shadow of its once glorious self while whole parts of the base are close to extinction.

I suggest to Richard Gordon that instead of gunning for the presidency, why not go back to being an administrator of SBMA and develop it as our very own Sentosa? The place has a lot of promise and it only takes one great man to fully maximize it.

Now, going back to Barretto....

Barretto should not be developed as a Phuket. Instead, let's develop it as a Bali, without the prostitutes. Hire those young ladies to serve as official tourist guides. IT just takes a lot of imagination to turn tragedy around. And it seems that Olongapo City and its leaders are just too concerned with big-time projects with millions of pesos as kickbacks and neglecting the worsening social malady in their towns, especially in Barretto.