Some parts of the world have declared the end of the pandemic, deeming it fit resume life as we knew before the plague of Covid hit. In Baguio City, at the side of Magsaysay to Bokawkan where it is tagged as the redlight district, a declaration ending the pandemic is not needed as life has resumed for most of establishments offering entertainment. One can observe how these areas will change as the night progresses, often categorized into stages.

The Early Evening Opening Stage, at this stage, you will observe the bars and music lounges in this area have lit up their signs and positioned their women and men outside their doors to cajole customers to come in and enjoy a night of partying, dressed for the occasion, these “barkers” will
smile tease you to enter as you pass by, assuring your stay will be enjoyable. This is the safe stage to be walking the streets, as there are no angry drunks scattered whom you may turn up to have a brawl with.

The Safety Measures Stage, At the later part of the evening, one can also observe that there is a police patrol car parked at the side streets to monitor any scrimmages, rumbles or God forbid,
violence. This is the stage that you should not walk around these areas alone, lest you be mistaken for a hustler or risk getting the ire of the drunkards.

The Drunken Calm Stage, at the early morning, if you are one to still be observing, you will see these streets transform into a waiting area of sorts, people outside the streets, waiting for cabs, drunken and with a swag, trying to get their balance or boisterous groups having streetside conversations or sometimes a group of warring men in an argument.

There are many drunks at this point but the danger is that hey are barfing on the streets and you might not want to risk being there when they do. The red-light district is alive and back with a vengeance, awakened from the two-year hiatus the pandemic forced giving hundreds of gig workers
a chance at a livelihood anew. A worldwide survey reveals service workers suffered the hardest which includes food servers, security guards and janitors — that typically involve on-site duties or face-to-face interactions.

Widespread temporary shutdowns of businesses made it impossible for many of these workers to
perform their job duties. This district is home to many workers, entertainers, wait staff, food and beverage, security and of course an added income for taxi drivers who prowl the night for passengers who lost income at the height of the pandemic. As we put on the red light for these establishments thrive, do we go back to the old normal? Or has the pandemic changed perspectives on how we should operate?

Amianan Balita Ngayon