Buencamino is a fellow of Action for Economic Reforms. This piece was first published in Interaksyon.com on October 13, 2011.


My vagina is like New Jersey, everyone knows where it is but no one wants to go there. – Joan Rivers

US Ambassador Harry Thomas got into trouble for pointing out something that no one likes to admit is true: many tourists come here for sex. He cited the number as forty percent. It does not matter where he got his data or how accurate it is. What is important is that his observation is essentially true. However, by the same token, sixty percent of tourists do not come here to buy sex.

Prostitutes are not our main tourist attraction. And prostitutes do not depend on tourists for their economic survival. They do well enough servicing the libido of locals. Tourists are just icing on their cake. The fact is every country in the world gets sex tourists, some get more than others. The only destinations where nobody goes for sex are the Vatican and Mecca. There is no absolutely no getting sex in those places unless one looks like an angelic choir boy or a camel with long eyelashes.

It is ironic that the same politicians offended by the ambassador’s observation about sex tourism want to amend the economic provisions of the constitution to make the country sexier for foreign businessmen. They believe the country will entice foreign businessmen if it puts on a new dress and spreads its legs wide open. That mentality reminds me of the story about the clueless pimp.

Juanito, the pimp, was wondering why his whore was not as popular as Lee’s, the pimp next door. He reviewed his marketing strategy and concluded that his girl needed a make-over to make her competitive. On the way to the store to buy new clothes and make-up for his girl, Juanito ran into Lee.

“How’s business?” asked Lee.

“Very slow,” Juanito replied morosely. “I’m on the way to the mall to buy new outfits for my bitch. She’s not attracting any tricks.”

“I may be crossing the line here but I have to tell you that it has nothing to do with her clothes,” said Lee.

“Are you telling me that my woman is ugly?”

“Of course not. She’s actually better looking than my girl,” Lee replied.

“That’s true,” Juanito agreed. “But why is she not getting any clients? What can I do to bring in more customers?”

“Buying her a new dress won’t work,” replied Lee. “The problem is she stinks. Give her a long hot bath and a good scrubbing.”

Sa madaling salita, simply changing certain provisions of the constitution is like putting on a new dress over the same nasty body. The country will still reek of the odor of corruption and criminality and no investors are going to come knocking on its door asking to be let in.

What is it about politicians that they cannot see what everyone else does? A fresh clean woman with her knees together is far more attractive than a skanky foul-smelling woman with her legs spread wide open.