“I was raped but the people around me were more heartless than the rapist.”

Disclaimer: This article was based on the true story of a woman who was an actual rape victim. Names weren’t mentioned in this article to protect the identity of the people involved. Lastly, the woman in this article gave the author the permission to share her story, with the conditions with which the author carefully and properly handled.

 

What I thought to be just a normal trip was actually an unexpected journey towards comprehension to reality.

It was Friday afternoon and I was traveling back to Davao City. I was comfortably sitting on my seat inside the bus and beside me was a woman staring blankly outside the window. To break the silence between us, I offered the food I was eating but she politely rejected it and thanked me. I thought our conversation would end there, yet after few minutes, she started asking common questions I had heard from the people I talked to during my previous trips; I also asked her several questions, then, we started exchanging information. I thought it was just a temporary conversation to end the discomfort between us; little did I thought was we were actually connecting to each other. We started sharing stories about career and personal interests.

We were happily talking when there was a sudden silence from her after I asked her if she has her own family and children. I remembered feeling nervous thinking I might have said something offending. But she smiled after that moment and I saw how proud and happy she was when she said she has a beautiful daughter. We both paused and smiled to each other, then, a revelation happened.

Naa koy anak pero wala koy bana.’  (I have a child but I do not have a husband), this was her answer that surprised me. I was puzzled by the story she was trying to open up but I remained silent and just listened. She began by telling me that there was a party where her bestfriend’s boyfriend was invited and her bestfriend wanted to go. Afraid that her bestfriend would be left out, her bestfriend begged her to attend with them, which she agreed. She said it was concern and curiosity that brought her there.

It was a night party in a resort, a birthday party of someone she couldn’t remember anymore. Upon their arrival, her bestfriend’s boyfriend introduced her and her bestfriend to his friends. She said they easily got along with everyone because they were accommodating and chatty; she even immediately made friends with the people around. And as they were enjoying the food and the party, one friend of her bestfriend’s boyfriend asked them to join their group in drinking. She didn’t hesitate, knowing that she was with her bestfriend and she now knew the company she was with. After a while, when they were enjoying good drinks and talks, her bestfriend excused herself and her boyfriend from the group to enjoy the sea. She stayed with the group and the last thing she remembered was she was talking and laughing along with the people around her.

She woke up feeling nauseous, but what bothered her was the pain she was feeling down her body. Her consciousness kicked in when she saw the setting she was in: lying in bed, covered with things she had no idea at all, and in a room she knew was strange for her. She rose up and checked herself, and she was shocked to see herself in a dreadful situation. She tried to remember what had happened, but she was blank and couldn’t remember how she went unconscious. Right then in there, she knew she was raped.

She ended her story there and suddenly stopped talking. I waited to know what happened next but she just looked at me and smiled. At those moments, I was speechless and empty. I didn’t know how to respond. I was even thinking that maybe it was all a joke and actually waited for her to reclaim what she had said, but she didn’t. There was a long pause before she continued talking, and her next words hit me hard.

I was raped but the people around me were more heartless than the rapist.

This time, I dared to ask why and she continued.

She reported what happened to her but no one stood witness for her. Her bestfriend denied the case and covered what happened. The boyfriend didn’t surrender the name of any of his friends. No one mentioned who was the suspect. Worst part was, every person who knew what happened to her blamed her, cursed her, and denied her.

She was the victim but why did they twist the table for her? This was the question that clouded my thought that moment. I couldn’t get it.

She said her parents tried hard to solve the case but no one dared to help them. They were desperate but they couldn’t get any information. They couldn’t fight the case because their stand was weak, plus people were judging her and her family.

Next thing happened then was when she found out that she was pregnant. She said that at those days, she had considered ending her life; things were too much to bear, but it was her parents who encouraged her, fought for her life, and never left her.

I felt the pain as she talked about her story. I wanted to know more of her; I wanted to get into details but I did not want to sound investigating instead of concerned. My heart was heavy and I felt helpless.

I then asked her about her child and she answered of how peacefully they’re living in the present. Her parents sent her to a place before the child was born and helped her to start over. She said it was hard to move forward but she had to. She kept saying she’s glad she made it to live back to normal. I asked if her daughter knows any of her story but she nodded no. I wanted to ask why and how will she handle it if her daughter discovers the truth, but I realized it was beyond my concern.

Questions bottled in me but I felt the limit she was trying to deliver. We continued talking, but things were diverted to her profession and her current situation. We were quiet for a while but I broke the silence when I asked her last few questions. I was curious of how she made it to lift herself back and she said it was her faith. Then I asked her why she had to share her story; she only clearly stated that as a teacher she wanted to warn me of the things I do and of the people I go out with. She told me to take her story as a reminder to be careful about everything.

I wondered what truth lies behind her experience but I took her word that moment.

Upon our arrival to Davao City, we agreed of the things we had talked about. She assured me of the things I have no control of and shared her hopes of wisdom from her story. After that, we went on our own. she waved goodbye yet I could still remember her smile.

I couldn’t believe I had heard a story of a rape victim; I was bothered by her story; I was disturbed by her issues. But what bothered me more was the reality of our society. How did the community dare to do it to her? The discrimination was too much and was not acceptable. She was the victim, did they not get the point in there?

For weeks, I have been thinking about her and her story, and I feel bad every time I come cross to the thought of the things that had happened to her and to the realizations I have reflected. But her story teaches me everyday of the things I need to learn and for every day, I ask myself, is this the society I want to be part of? Is this the reality I want to live with? Oh, the stigma; oh, the people.

Muslims are terrorists

 

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Disclaimer: I am a grateful believer of Jesus Christ but I decided to wear hijab for this post to acknowledge my respect to the culture of my Muslim friends. I was styled by my dorm-mate who apparently is a Muslim and all of these are permitted and recognized by her.

Muslims are terrorists

It pains me every time I come across an article about the current siege in Marawi City and read comments from people on facebook about their disgust to Muslim people. What pains me even more is their unbearable judgment: Muslims are terrorists.

They blame Muslims for what is presently happening in our country. They talk like putting the whole Muslim community into full responsibility of the current war.

Muslims are people who believe in Islam. They are the people who practice different culture and do things according to their religion. They may do things differently from most people in our country but they actually are NOT different from us; THEY ARE ALSO FILIPINOS. More than that, THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS, too.

They speak the same language with those who are currently attacking Marawi City, but that doesn’t make them terrorists. They wear hijab and taqiyah, but these don’t make them terrorists. Truth is, anything about their religion doesn’t make them terrorists!

I may not completely understand Islam but with the help of my Muslim friends from the previous institution I’ve attended and of my Muslim friends from the city I am currently in, I am aware about their culture and religion. Mind you, I have shared to them as well the Christian belief and principles and our conversation always ends up with grateful hearts. And we go on on our own way with much respect to each other; we depart having within us the choice and the idea of things we have to know and to believe. Why this is possible? Simple as this: WE OPEN OURSELVES TO KNOW THINGS AND WE HELP TO EDUCATE EACH OTHER ABOUT DIVERSITY. WE DO NOT LIMIT OURSELVES TO WHAT WE ONLY WANT TO BELIEVE AND WE PROMOTE INTEGRITY; WE BUILD EACH OTHER TO END ADVERSITY.

You see, behind that hijab or taqiyah is a race exactly the same to every one of us. We stand in the same land. We stand as one nation. We are in one nation. WE ARE ALL FILIPINOS, and every Filipinos are victims of this war. Wala sa religion or suot na! And nganu, Pinoy pa ba tong mga nagsugod ug giyera? Apart from they’re breaking the moral law, they are as well breaking the divine instruction to everyone, and that is to love the One we believe in with all that we’ve got and to love each people with everything that the One gives us. And let me quote the famous song of Blackeyed Peas, “Where is the love?”. Asa na bitaw?

So, are Muslims really terrorists? Think again.

Lastly, I am including a photo of a part of a magazine in which Mr. David Cameron said a short line yet a strong one about terrorists; Mr. Cameron said that 3 years ago and it’s still strong and true.

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“David Cameron, British Prime Minister, speaking after a video emerged of the execution of British aid worker David Haines by the Islamic extremist group ISIS” Courtesy: Time Magazine, September 29, 2014 issue

Stop misjudging. Let’s instead help each other; educate each other. Unsa bay maayo sa pagjudge sa kapwa? Pinoy ka, Pinoy pud sila. Remember that always.

You Are Worth Standing in the Altar With

jade writes stuff

Disclaimer: This is a letter written in a Christian perspective. If you are a not a Christian and you do not agree, that’s expected. A lot of people will get offended and I’ll understand. But we, Christians, are called to be the salt and light of this world. Having said so, the Bible should be the final authority in what we believe and what we stand up for.

We can agree to disagree on one thing. But let me just quote what Rick Warren once said:

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies: The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

With that said . . .

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I am not bashing Nadine…

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To the man I am secretly in love with

To the man I am secretly in love with, I’ll bury my love for you deeper than the ocean’s deepest; I’ll keep everything beneath the surface. I’ll hide everything under the hadal’s unknowns; keep the love no one would own.

To the man I am secretly in love with, I know I’ll never be the woman you are praying for. I’ll never be the woman you are dreaming of. I’ll never be the woman you will love.

But despite of all denials and repression, I have one thing I am sure of:

I love you.

Why do heartbreaks happen?

Why do heartbreaks happen? I think…

Heartbreaks happen for you to love more;
To love more yourself,
To love more the people who truly value,
And to love more the One you believe in.

Heartbreaks happen for you to grow;
To grow wiser and stronger and vigilant,
To grow independent and faithful.

Heartbreaks happen for you to learn;
To learn about your needs,
To identify what you really want,
And to find yourself and fully learn about your worth.

Heartbreaks happen for you to move forward;
To go on as new and whole and true,
To move to what’s best,
To move forward to daily grind with peace.

Heartbreaks are never easy. It is always heavy. Heartbreaks are always painful. So cry, cry when you need to. But never destroy yourself, never lose your value. Never give up your life. It may be hard to accept but you can turn that heartbreak to a blessing. Open your heart to what it really means because maybe, just maybe you are meant to be broken for you to love more, to grow, to learn, and to more forward.

Senting Single sa McDo

Lumabas ako kaninang hapon papuntang Mcdo para mag-aral kasi nga di ako makapagconcentrate kapag nasa kwarto ako. Ang sarap pa ng hangin paglabas ko ng dorm; feel na feel ko pa pagkalugay ng buhok ko. Tapos nung pagdating ko talaga sa Mcdo, ang swerte ko kasi kakabakante lang ng seat kung saan ako madalas pumwesto. Umorder lang ako ng mga paborito ko tapos habang kumakain at patanaw-tanaw sa mga tao’t sasakyan na dumadaan ay biglang naging deep ako.

Ang deep nito, ewan ko sa inyo.

Ang sarap pala talagang maging single.

Yung na-eenjoy ko oras ko kahit mag-isa lang ako. Yung dahil sa ako lang at walang ka-usap, napansin ko every beautiful detail ng burger ko: ang ganda nang pagkakaluto ng patty ko; ang ganda ng color ng burger sauce nila; at ang sarap nang pagkakahalo ng ketchup and mayo. Ngayon ko lang napansin lahat ng yan. Yung dahil sa mag-isa lang ako at walang ka-usap, free na free kong kinakain in my own way ang sundae ko. Hinalo-halo ko lahat ng laman ng baso hanggang sa magka-isang kulay na ang chocolate fudge and sundae. Yung na-eenjoy ko pagkain ko, oras ko, sarili kong space, and ang every moment. Yung dahil mag-isa lang ako at walang ka-usap, free akong nakakapag-isip. Di ko naramdaman ang need na makipag-usap. Di ko man masabi anumang idea ang biglang dumarating sa utak ko, may journal naman ako para isulat lahat. Ang sarap sa pakiramdam na solong-solo ko ang isang buong table. Ang ganda ng moment ko kanina dahil sa  sobrang may karapatan ako umupo saan mang pwesto gusto ko. Yung na-eenjoy ko na moment ko, nasasave ko pa ATP ko.

Ewan. Sobrang na-appreciate ko ang sarili kong time kanina; ang saya ko kahit mag-isa lang ako. Siguro single ako at single pa ako kasi nga may mga dapat pa akong matutunan. Kasi siguro kelangan kong maramdaman tung moment na to. Siguro single ako at single pa ako kasi nga may mga magagandang panahon na kelangan kong i-enjoy ng mag-isa. Yung naramdaman ko na sobrang okay lang na single ako ngayon. Yung wala akong kelangang isiping iba. Yung wala akong kelangang paghatian ng oras ko. At yung wala akong kelangang hintayin sa mga lakad ko.

Yung sobra kong na-appreciate ang pagiging single ko kanina, pero siguro naman hindi hanggang dito na lango o hanggang dito lang. Ang saya nga maging single pero malay ko, malay natin, malay nila, kapag darating na ang right guy para sa’kin at ang tamang panahon para sa’ming dal’wa, sabay na kaming mag-eenjoy ng Mcburgers namin. Sabay na kaming papansin sa ganda ng pagkaka-ayos ng mga kinakain namin. Yung may kanya-kanya man kaming paraan sa pagkain ng sundae, pero siguro sabay na kaming mag-eenjoy sa pag-ubos nito.

Siguro sobrang na-appreciate ko ang pagiging single ko kanina sa McDo kasi siguro dapat kong malaman muna ano ang saya nang pag-iisa. Kasi siguro kapag may kasama na ako, di ko na kelangang magwonder pa ng mga bagay about pag-eenjoy ng oras ng walang kasama. Siguro sobrang na-appreciate ko ang pagiging single ko kasi nga darating ang panahon na ibang klaseng saya naman ng may kasama sa McDo ang i-aapprecaite ko.

Senti, no? Pero talaga, ang sarap maging single; ang dami kong natututunan.

Hay McDo, dapat nag-aaral ako pero napapadeep ako sa inyo.