by Shunita Gerritsen With a loud, blunt clonk the ferry arrives. The gate slowly comes down while the flashing lights and loud beeping alert the impatiently waiting passengers. Almost before the way is cleared, people…
In the second week of fieldwork, I came in contact with Lola (23) and Dewi (22)*, two Indonesian friends living in Kuta, Bali. One Thursday evening in January I went for a night out with these girls to their favourite club, Sky Garden.
That morning, I was a bit nervous about my night with the girls, so I send Lola a text message to be sure if we were still on for the night. She responded quickly and told me to meet her at 1 a.m. in front of Sky Garden. Around eleven in the evening Lola sent me a text message asking if I wanted to come over to her place for some drinks. I jumped under the shower, got dressed and looked for her address on the GPS in my phone. It would be half an hour’s drive. On the way I bought some beers for us.
It is nine weeks now that I am in the Philippines, and fieldwork preparation taught me things should get normal after a while. They don’t. Every week I find myself in several situations in which I am either overwhelmed by everything that happens or it raises many questions on how to respond. I am here in the Philippines to conduct research on prostitution. My main question is how women who prostitute create and maintain security and how the organization I work alongside plays a role in this process.
I knew prostitution was big in the Philippines, but walking in the huge red light district of Angeles City, which is known as the sex city of the country, is still an experience.