galunggong or tamarung
After I posted the blog regarding Nangka-Nangka (a house of ill repute in our small town) in a closed Facebook group of my high school classmates, it was barraged with comments and answers. Within the first hour, there were already 88 comments. So let me see if I can digest all this information in as little space as possible. Here are some information I gathered from my classmates in Facebook.
First, I was mistaken about the location. Famy said it was in the middle of Martirez St. in Upper San Raymundo district, and not past the Philippine Constabulary barracks which I thought. That immediately tells you how much I know or better still, don’t know about the place.
The second piece of information was that it was a house and in front of this house was a Nangka (jackfruit) tree, thus the name of the place.
Third, the women there were called Tamarungs, as Froebel reminded us. Well, Tamarung is a kind of cheap fish (galunggong in the Filipino language) which sometimes causes your tongue to itch. The correlation being, if you availed of the services of the women in Nangka-Nangka and you didn’t wear protection, you might develop an itch in your nether regions, or worse, a drip. Wait, maybe those two come hand in hand.
Here is a paraphrase of what Soraya told me. “I remember (in elementary school) when a group of 3 or 4 heavily made up girls with full red lipstick would walk in front of our house and the tricycle drivers would yell “tamarung!”. I asked my grandma why they were called tamarung and she said because they were bad girls from Nangka-Nangka. What is Nangka-Nangka and why is it called so? Because that place has a jackfruit tree on the pathway leading to the house.”
Fourth, per Famy, Nangka-Nangka has ceased to exist since the martial law days of the 70’s.