They don’t really care if there’s Nicole, or if there’s still a pending Subic rape case. These two women I chanced upon in Subic just wanted to send their boyfriends off as the USS Essex left for Japan.
The Essex is the same vessel that brought to the country last year the four US marines accused of raping Nicole. For two weeks, the ship stayed in Subic for one of those RP-US military exercises. After the wargames, there was no fancy send-off for the US marines. Just a few tourists and some other women who said they also had boyfriends on-board were there at the pier.
The two women told me they have a different perception of American soldiers. Though some would label them as commercial sex workers, or prostituted women, for them they are just simple girls who traveled to Subic all the way from Bulacan just to find an American friend. And boyfriends they found.
They say the Americans they met are “malambing, masuyuin at mabait.” For one night, they partied in Subic with their boyfriends who were allowed for some R and R by their superiors. They said they just went to bars but beyond that, they won’t tell me any further.
They may have a different point of view compared to Nicole’s or my friends’ at Gabriela and other women’s organizations. They don’t see the GI’s as rapists or having any semblance with Daniel, Keith, Dominic or Chad. They even criticized the rally staged by Nicole’s group in Subic protesting the presence of the Americans and the Essex.
For them, the Americans are their friends. Well, there’s really nothing wrong with that. They said they just wanted some clean fun in Subic. But then, they also admit they went there because they have no stable jobs.
If only they had better opportunities in life, probably they wouldn’t have been there in Subic.