Sometime in 2008, two youthful foreigners came to a province in the Philippines looking forward to satisfy a consulting contract with a businessman from Cagayan de Oro. Before, they were having some fun in Phuket, Thailand after graduating in Sweden, trying to make their millions using the skill they learned as computer geeks. Their minds were consumed to corner a commercial venture that would set their persona within the fad of computer application. They are focused in conquering the world. Sweden for them has become a small area where they could test and apply their new found expertise. Computer business however in Thailand was very competitive that they were lured to open new vistas where it would be easier to capture and be ahead. A friend came by and so they chased their dreams coming over a tropical country.
It did not take long however when they were able to assist their businessman friend organize his computer business that they had every time in their schedule to move around. Cagayan de Oro was a very hospitable place. Foreigners were treated with deferment and respect. And since the Swedes were young, in their early 30s yet, full of enthusiasm and adventure, they were literally mobbed by youngsters in the area, mostly giggling girls. As they try to explore further on, in alleys and street corners at night-time, they would discover that the province, like Thailand, had its own share of joints devoted to satisfy one’s animal passion and raw lust. They knew that the evening denizens were exposed to fatal ailments like aids and other sex related diseases. They never tried to patronize the denizens, they merely wanted to come up with a related business which may be of help to the sexual workers in the area. As they say in Australia, “sex sells,” and they could use their computer savvy to create some commercial activity and marrying this to a crusade to save some people from the onslaught of disease.
Cybersex comes to mind. It is in vogue. It has been an accepted business proposition in most advanced countries. It is everywhere in internet and cyberspace. It is therefore to their youthful mind, a legal activity. And in that part of the province, tourists were even lured to pick up a partner to serve their bestial ends. Sexual tourism was a silent feature to draw in the much needed capital. They may be able to formulate an approach that could tap this vast reservoir of potential without creating a damage to the goods.
And so the two youthful foreigners went about their zany thoughts of operating a business cum crusade, while acting as computer consultant. They rented a building and refurbished it with individual cubicles. The cost was a bit prohibitive but they could recoup it in record time in their estimation. They fitted each cube with a high definition computer instrument, camera and hard disc. They have had this kind of exercise in their undergraduate course and it was peanuts. The contraptions were hooked in a modem for internet purposes. Finally, after a month-long preparation, it had evolved into a look of an honest to goodness office, much like a call center. They organized a network and website and began testing it for response. The reception was superb and they had a simple celebration. A portion of cyberspace had become a playground for the Swedish boys.
They were now prepared to recruit their office workers. Their target: the girls plying nightly on blind alleys selling their flesh to willing patrons. They would be paid handsomely just to bare their bodies inside the cubicle alone by themselves. They will never be touched at all. Like actresses on the silver screen, they would just perform some seductive moves to invite their clients on cyberspace. And since it would all be acting, they need not spend the night in some drab motels enslaving themselves and contracting a life threatening diseases coming from maniacal persons. As a matter of fact, they would just be reporting for work like ordinary workers in some labor intensive factories. Their advantage is that, they are merely sedate, no extra effort, no physical hardship, just laying down, stripping. They can even wrap their heads in silky hankies if they are a bit shy. For the effort, they were paid a thousand peso daily. It was a good proposition since a sex worker may at times, more often than not actually, gets lucky to have a patron for the day. Their growing number in the street makes their profession too competitive to get ahead. The Swedish proposal was indeed an auspicious offer. The offer spread far and wide, until their office were swamp with applications.
The project could no longer express its humble stature. It has been a promoted venture done by word of mouth among the recruited girls. And a lot of their friends wanted to be employed, even those who went in some cities outside of the province, were lured to come back. That would however signal the project’s decline.
Some sectors were also advertently affected. The night clubs, the pimps mostly, the tourist guides, night stores, bars, restaurants, big business establishments catering to sex were having a bad side. While there was sex workers assembled daily in some street corners, the site had become a ghost town. Suddenly, there were no “angels” begging for attention, scrambling for customers, no one in seductive poses anymore. The streets were clean. Shades of Martial Law or an aftermath of calamities.
Meanwhile, the building where the girls were was vibrant. The Swedish boys were already deep in their conferences on how to expand their business. There should be shifting to include nightly shows to accommodate the growing number of applicants. In time, they would be able to remove the girls from the streets and declare sexually transmitted disease as history. That would be a good political contribution to their host province. They earn, everybody earns actually and no one gets sick. They may be expanding sexual derangement in cyberspace but to hell, only deranged people patronize the site anyway. There are those who preferred hell. In their case, it was merely an approach to pluck money from crazy people and distributing it to the needy. If they gained something from it, it was merely as a result of their thought process and expertise, nothing idiotic and wild.
` As they were reviewing their account journal, an outlandish incident transpired. A police unit swarmed on their building and the Swedish boys were brought to the precinct. There were a number of people milling in the area. They even noticed several pimps, whom they recognized from afar during those times they were moving from one street corner to another. They were of course directly affected by their business. They could no longer sell anyone anymore. Even the municipal health centers were no longer humming with activity. Nobody is interested in getting their pink cards anymore. Pharmacies were no longer teeming with self medicating night workers. Night clubs were becoming gay bars. Tourism in the area was becoming a thing of the past. The perks of the economy brought by white slavery has finally been silenced. And the Swedish boys, because of this, must therefore be punished.
Charges of human trafficking were readied and in a spark of judicial inspiration, a verdict was handed down. The Swedish boys, Emil Andreas Solemo and Bo Stefan Sederholm were sentenced to suffer life imprisonment. They never knew what hit them. For the local government, it was a relevant period to show the world that the country was attentive and dutiful in observing human trafficking laws. It was a cause celebre. The offenders were immediately whisked to the penitentiary to begin serving their time. The building the Swedish boys rented as office was closed down. Their computer gadgets confiscated. And happily for the pimps and business sector catering to flesh trade in the province, the girls are finally back in the street. In the latest health news, the town where they once were hailed as economic saviours has finally inched its way towards a liberal tourist destination where sex diseases are prevalent. Business as usual.