Birds chirp outside. A motorcycle groans up a nearby hill. And in a small, warm room filled with books and framed drawings, a young woman we're calling Maria tears at a tissue as she prepares to tell how sex traffickers corrupted her life.
"I was 15 when I was recruited," she said. "I had to find a job because my father had a lung problem and I needed to find money so we could send him to the hospital."
Maria met a person in her province who said he could find her a job in Manila.
"I thought I was going to work as a dishwasher in a restaurant," she said. "But when I arrived I realized it was a 'casa.'" 'Casa' is a code word for brothel in the Philippines.
Many young girls fall prey to human traffickers. They often leave their homes and villages in the provinces, seeking opportunities to support their families.
The traffickers are adept at convincing them to travel with them.
"I traveled through the islands. It took me 24 hours to reach Manila. When I got there, I found 16 girls staying in the same small place. Some were as young as 13-years-old," she said.
Maria was trapped and forced to have sex with a number of foreign and Filipino men.
Although she was there for only a few weeks before the Filipino police raided the apartment and freed her and the others, the damage had been done.
Maria routinely saw up to 13 customers a day. Her captors forced her to go to extreme lengths to deceive them into thinking she was a virgin in order to command higher prices.
"We were forced to take a cotton ball and dip it in pigeon's blood, then put that in our sex organ," she says. As outrageous as that is, it is not unusual.
In some parts of Asia, anti-trafficking groups have found that men believe sex with a virgin can cure their HIV/AIDS.
Social workers say that's led to a disturbing trend with tragic consequences for the victims of human trafficking. UNICEF estimates as many as 100,000 children work in the illegal sex trade in the Philippines.
Many women are also forced to prostitute themselves, not because of financial circumstances, but because they fear violence against themselves or their families, if they try to escape.
While filming the CNN Freedom Project documentary, we interviewed three girls, whose story was so profound and distressing, it left me in tears, the only time in my 15-year career that's happened.
The interview started out normally, with the girls singing into the microphone and telling us about Tom & Jerry cartoons and the crushes they had on the musician Bruno Mars.
They seemed like typical 12-year-olds, but what they would tell us about what they'd been through, stopped me cold.
"The trauma is really so deep," says Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, the director of the Visayan Forum Foundation, an organization that cares for recued girls. "They wake up in the middle of the night screaming and crying because they are so afraid the trafficker will come again. Sometimes one of the kids suddenly gets sick and vomits. Our psychologist said it's because she remembers what these guys on the Internet asked her to do."
One of the girls said: "At the internet café they tell me to take my clothes off and then they make me dance [in front of the camera]. I was kind of embarrassed because I'm not used to being naked like that."
Often that wasn't enough for paying customers on the other side of the sex chat room. For $27 an hour, anyone could tell the girls what to do, and a man behind the camera would make sure they did it.
The girls told of men coming in off the street and the girls having to perform sexual acts. Animals were sometimes involved. And perverts took deranged pleasure in watching the girls suffer these terrible abuses.
"Sometimes we had to urinate," says the girl in the middle. Her friend to the right adds: "The urine is mixed with juice as a drink."
"That's what the American client wants. He demands anyone who feels like urinating should do so, but that he wants us to do it in front of the camera."
I asked the children what they think about Americans.
"You're maniacs," one of the girls says, sharply. "You need to stop victimizing girls like us."