Living on a foreign land makes me giddy seeing my countrymen on TV. I’ve seen several of them being featured on magazine shows and most of the time the stories are quite flattering or heartwarming. Last Sunday night, I saw several Filipinas shown on a documentary program on MBC TV. The story was not really about them but about a 60-yr old former Korean prostitute and the ever alive prostitution industry in Pyeongtaek, where a US base is located. One resident of the area said that southeast Asian women, specially Filipinas, have replaced the Korean prostitutes. The place is called “America Town” and several Filipinas in sexy casual clothing were shown walking on the street. “America Town” is the setting of one Korean drama, “Sad Sonata” or “Sad Love Story” starring Kim Hee Sun and Kwon Sang Woo.
It’s so sad to hear that our women go abroad to work as entertainers but end up as prostitutes. It not only degrades them but also their countrymen living in that foreign land. But I guess sometimes they did not really want to be in that profession but were forced to by their employers. I’ve read in several articles that most of them came here expecting to have decent jobs only to find out that the “decent job” was just a lure used by greedy middlemen. They are then put in situations where they have no way of escaping.
Prostitution is illegal in Korea but the bars near the US bases are obviously tolerated by the law enforcers. I remember reading that the Amb. Villacorte requested the Korean Embassy in the Philippines to be stricter when it comes to issuing E-6 or Entertainer’s Visa. It’s undoubtedly being exploited by the bar owners.
Anyway, there’s a discussion on the ESL cafe regarding Filipino entertainers: