Thursday, December 01, 2011

Meat market

Dear insansapinas,


In my previous blog, Turo, Turo, Turismo, I wrote: 

Pakigulo nga ang utak ko. Pakigising. Tulog eh. Hindi ko makita ang logic kung anong meron sa Pinas para magtakbuhan ang mga divorcees dito.  Do I have to read between the lines, under the lines or over the lines ? 
Cito Beltran, the son of the late Luis Beltran posed more questions regarding the issue of the DOT's plan of making the Philippines a haven of divorcees.Copied from the Philstar, let me share this article with you.

During my “Straight Talk” days where I got to interview celebrities and all, I had a chance to do a short interview of singer Michael Bolton who instantly warmed up when he learned that I lived for a year and a half in Westport, Connecticut where he lived and spent a lot of time.In typical fashion we quickly compared notes and talked about where each of us would hang out. After naming a few of his favorite bars, I jumped in to point out that one in particular was a “Divorce bar” where recently separated or divorced individuals go.Michael Bolton immediately responded to sweep away what I said and did his best to remove any misimpressions I may have about that bar and its loyal patron sitting in front of me. It was instantly clear to me that he was particular about being labeled or identified as someone who actively goes to “Divorce bars”.I can understand his concern because we often referred to those places as “Meat markets” or “The Fish stall” where you try to come home with “the catch of the day”. Yes I have a past, I was a sinner and I am glad that Jesus paid the price! So enough of your shocked responses!I remember and share this story in relation to news reports that the Department of Tourism, particularly Secretary Jimenez, has ideas about promoting the Philippines as a preferred tourism destination for “divorcees”. To be honest, I found the story hard to believe and have kept silent on the item.However, the thing has not died a natural death and recent talks about it, has once again stirred my curiosity. I’ll keep my judgment on this for a later day, but forgive me if I ooze with curiosity to figure out what’s going on.When I heard about the Philippines becoming the premier destination for “divorcees”, I could not help thinking that US Ambassador Harry Thomas will surely feel vindicated with such an official policy being launched by the Philippine Government.Considering Thomas got nailed to the wall for stating that 40 percent of male tourists that come to the Philippines come for sex, making the Philippines a “divorcee haven” certainly sounds like a fine tuned campaign to lure more than the 40 percent more, as well as proof that the Ambassador was telling the truth that hypocrites in government could not admit.

But what is going on? Here we have the “consummate” marketing man of the Philippines, as Secretary of Tourism selling the Philippines to divorcees. The question is what product or products, is he selling?Are we offering brides complete with wedding package? Are we promotingmedical tourism to treat post traumatic stress syndrome from a divorce? Are we offering a holiday package inclusive of a 30-day financial rehabilitation and restructuring to get out of alimony payments, maybe vacation introductions to professional “Riding in Tandem” operators who can teach them how to whack a wicked witch in the west or an ugly in-law without being caught.Or maybe we can sell them time-share, a new identity and absolutely untraceable whereabouts in some remote fishing village where they can chase “island girls” and die drinking lambanog at the ripe old age of 50!Try as I may, I find it difficult to figure out what legal and decent product the DOT cold sell to divorcees. If you’ve ever been divorced, or counseled one, the idea of chasing after another relationship after a divorce is equivalent to kissing a rat with bubonic plague.The idea of going to an island paradise, walk along the beach and watch the sunset by your royally divorced self sounds like a perfect recipe for depression and utter despair!That does not mention the serious expense of going on a holiday knowing your alimony payments has already cut into your monthly budget by 40 to 60 percent! Let me add that once your money-grabbing Ex learns you went on an island vacation, they’ll haul your sorry ass to court and demand MORE because you can afford a vacation that you never took her to!So why would a recently walking wounded divorcee spend several thousand Euros or dollars, fly 10 to 13 hours to the Philippines? Unless they want to go to the “meat market” or the “fish stall” to buy the “catch of the day”, I’m betting that this was an idea that emerged from too much pressure, too much beer and too little brains.

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