Sunday, April 10, 2011

Felt it in my fist, in my feet, in the hollows of my eyelids.. Shaking through my skull, through my spine and down through my ribs..



Two weeks ago, I was attacked on my way home from a bar. We had a few drinks because a friend was leaving, and I made the silly decision to walk the last 200 meters home alone. It was about 2:30am, and I remember, saying bye to my friend.. and regretting it instantly. I had only gone a few meters before I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up - I felt like I was being watched, spotted. Like a deer in the woods. I pulled it together and walked a little faster, hoping I was being hit by mere paranoia. I wasn't drunk, I wasn't even tipsy, but at this point I felt dizzy. I looked around and didn't see anyone, so I just kept on walking, hoping the feeling would subside, praying my mind was playing tricks on me. Then I heard footsteps. Hurried steps, like someone couldn't wait to reach their destination. I looked over my shoulder, terrified of what I might see. A shadow was moving towards me. My instinct kept telling me to run, as I turned the corner into a dark alley. But it was as if my legs wouldn't carry me. My legs felt soft, like a hindrance, like I couldn't lift them, heavy with fear. Blinded by my tunnel vision, I found myself maybe 30, 20 meters away from my house. I kept on walking, but my curiosity prompted me too check what was behind me again, although I really didn't want to know. About a meter away from me, a man was walking as fast as he could manage. I am convinced he saw the fear in my eyes, as I looked at his face, desperately trying to remember what he looked like, and preparing myself for the worst. He looked me right in the eyes and said, in a forced friendly tone: "Hello, how are you?" before I felt something at the back of my head and realized that this mans intentions were all but friendly. He threw his fist into the left side of my head and hit me on the ear, leaving me breathlessly screaming in shock - my instincts kicked in and I threw my own fist towards him and hit him on the cheek. He yanked at my hair and I stumbled, almost losing my balance and in the faint light, I saw something shimmer and realized he was holding a knife to my side. My blind fury must have taken over because at this point I don't know what exactly happened next, all that I could think of was that there was no way I would allow myself to become a victim without everyone in the neighborhood hearing me. I screamed as loud as my lungs would allow me to, cursing him and shoving my hands in his face in an effort to not give him a chance to get anywhere near my body. He hit me in the head repeatedly, seemingly hell-bent on knocking me unconscious. At some point I must have struggled with him pretty hard, because later on, I discovered I was holding his broken watch in my hands. I would not go down without a fight, knife or no knife. I wanted to tell him to take my bag, to take everything, but he showed such little interest in my belongings, that I had even forgotten it was there. Eventually, he must have decided I was causing too much of a scene, and he fled, after he had cut the strap off my bag and given me another shove, finally knocking me down. I got up and stood there, as stunned as I was pissed off and it wasn't until then I realized what had actually happened. I remembered the knife and how close it came to being jammed into my side and I broke down. I was on my knees when I noticed another man standing near me, nonchalantly looking at his cell phone and as I begged him for help, he seemed to look right through me and kept on walking. Everything around me seemed to turn dark and I felt myself going numb, not knowing what to do next. I heard a window open and a familiar voice call out asking me if I was OK, and I managed a weak "I was mugged" and buried my face in my hands, falling apart by the second. I felt naked, vulnerable and drained. I cried.

The next day at the police station, as I was giving my statement, a police officer who was listening, approached me and said, my case sounded very much like a case they had in January. It was an attempted rape, and the girl managed to get away, but not before being beaten to a pulp and struggling to keep her clothes on. She walked into the police station without her undergarments on, bleeding and scared to death. The man had also greeted her before he physically assaulted her. And it happened in the exact same place; 20 meters away from my house. No guard came to her rescue, and if anyone heard her, they turned a deaf ear to her screaming.

Today I heard about a girl who showed up at one of our kite schools, naked. The story circulating is that she was drunk, and had been attacked by 5 men and raped. 

I know this blog is supposed to be about all things pretty, but I want to get real. This could happen to anyone, anywhere. Two weeks later, and I still struggle to find my strength to do the everyday things. When I walk in the dark and a figure comes near me, It is enough to make me want to start running. And when a stranger greets me on the streets, I start shaking, amidst flashbacks of what happened on that night. I hate having to admit feeling weak, but I don't know what else to do. If my speaking out about this matter can bring awareness and therefore protect others from becoming victims, then I will tell my story. Do not walk home by yourself at night, especially after you have been drinking. No matter how familiar a path is to you, you can never be too careful. Carry mace in your hand, as you are walking, and avoid carrying valuables in your bag. If you see a street in your neighborhood that is dimly lit, speak to someone who can do something to change that. Make noise, start a movement. Fight back. Too many people turn a blind eye thinking "What difference does it make?" It makes me sick to my stomach. Why wait until you yourself or someone close to you becomes a victim? Use the voice you were given.

In two days I will be back home. "Dread" doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about that.

Photos by Denise Tolentino, taken days prior to said night.

33 comments:

Weesha said...

I'm so glad you're safe and I'm a little too shocked to say anything else.

I'm just glad you're safe and I hope these monsters are caught and tortured for harming innocent girls.

Angel said...

oh my gawd, this is horrible dani. i wish they would double up the patrolling in the island especially in dark allu areas of boracay... hopefully, the community guards (from different hotels, hostels, lodging near by each other, locals/ neigboring people would find the initiative give it an extra mile of helping improve safety and security of everyone. a traumatic experience like this, esp visiting the same area again, would need biggest courage and help of friends and family. youre a pretty strong girl, and you will in time get thru this. well, it took me months to recover my experience with mugging a very long time ago in college, also like yours, i was approached at our gate asking me wot time it is... im glad your are safe... always be careful and be with a crowd, not alone, its much safer... sorry for the long comment... will be in boracay with my older sisters on thurs, with our prayers, our trip hopefull will be safe and fun tho. we might visit your lil ti braz... have a blessed sunday my love

being miss east said...

now im even more scared to go to bora. im glad youre ok ^^ and i pray people would start caring.

love,
v

Monica said...

Omg you poor thing. It is awful that this happened but I think its just as bad that a man saw you and just carried on walking. I don't understand how someone could do that. Well done for putting up such a good fight!
In school we used to have self defense lessons. They were great and if you practice regularly it really can save your life but I think a good pair of lungs is your best protection.

Hannah Bacalla said...

That's just horrible! The police should do something about it and quickly before this happens to another girl.

I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE SAFE. Please take care!! *hug*

nicolethedressupdoll said...

Looove the photos dear!:)
xoxo,
htpp://nicolethedressupdoll.blogspot.com

ediot said...

this is one of the most horrible stories i've heard. im in deep shock and i feel angry. and scared. I can't even start to understand what's in people's minds when they're doing things like this- whether it be mugging,raping, killing. it's an abuse of power. it's horrid. im so glad it didn't turn worse than this- that you managed to fight back.but this is indeed a shocking and horrible thing that has happened to you.
i think i would be in a state of shock for a long time after something like that would've happened. I hope you can get professional help if you feel the need to do so.
my thoughts are with you.
About what to do to change it- i don't know. if i'd be attacked i don't know if i could make a noise. i think a lot of people turn numb and go into shock directly.- making themselves into an easy victim.
i've also heard that if you get attacked you should scream,kick and make as big a scene as you possibly can..
take care
xx

Iris said...

OMG! I got goosebumps just reading about what you went through. Glad that he left when he did and that you're okay. You were very brave for fighting back as hard as you could - braver still for going back to where it happened. Sending hugs your way. <3

Iris
goddess-i-am.com

ROS said...

Wow! I don't even know what to say! How brave of you to fight back the way you did, and thank God nothing worse happened!

Bren said...

Dani, that's a very scary event that has happened to you. I am without words...
I pray that from now on things will be better for you.

cherie said...

praying for your safety and well being... this is such a terrible thing to be happening..

Anonymous said...

Hey dane!!

Be strong and keep fighting those bad guys off! with a pepper spray in hand, of course. Please please get one alright??? Take care!! =)

your avid reader =)

Denise said...

ohmy dane. this is horrifying. goosebumps all over me. i can't imagine what it's like to,,,, can even say it.

this is so sad because we're supposed to feel safe and secure but for these kinds of incidents , its just terrorizing.

take care dane. doble dobleng ingat palagi. get your self a teargas or something.

When i was in college i always have one at the pocket of my bag. And am prepared to use it.

wish you healing dane. grab a boyfriend to walk with at night.

anyway this happened at Boracay?

wish ko talaga mamatay na yung lalaki na yun. he has no use in this lifetime.

cryskay said...

omg... i am speechless. its so brave of you to share your story on your blog. please take care and be safe. xx

Mezz said...

Been following your blog for a while and have always thought you're a strong girl - and you always will be, no matter what happens.

You share your story and that's what makes you strong, and amazing :) remember that I'm just one of many many of your readers who offers you support. All the best xox

Allie said...

I am so glad you're safe. I am also glad that you've got fight in you, I wish I could say something similar for others. I have never been in or near that kind of situation, but I'd hope that I would be there to be a helping hand, a kind stranger, or someone who'd take action.

Sending you love. xoxo

Jonette said...

wow. This is my first time on your blog. Thanks for posting this; this is a reality check of sorts for me. I do hope you're feeling better now, and please do take care. It's unfortunate that as much as there wonderful, cool, crazy people in the world that there are also terrible, uncaring, ugly-hearted people. Please stay well.

Hazel said...

omygosh :( This is saddening! Stay safe!

Kat said...

amazing photos! :)

katslovefashion.blogspot.com

l i s a z h a n g said...

these photos are lush!
i wanna be there right now!

x


www.devious-studios.blogspot.com

l i s a z h a n g said...

ps

i just got thru ur post!
what happened is horrible!
i'm glad ur okay!

i feel like an insensible idiot with my prior comment....

x

Archer Durano Singson said...

hey Dane, i've been following your blog for over two years now and this comment is a first. oh God, what happened to you scared the sh*t out of me and i'm sorry you had to go through this horrifying ordeal. i'm glad you're safe. this sounds like a serial rapist is on the loose in Boracay. anyone can be an easy prey considering how crazy those night parties get in that island. take care!

Anonymous said...

stay strong dane!! i'm so glad you're safe!

lasophia said...

Hope your healing is going well. Thanks for sharing your story Dane.

Lauren said...

Gosh, this is terrible but I'm glad you're all right! You did the right thing putting up a fight, because that usually discourages most attackers. It also helps to scream and attract the attention of people nearby. That guy with the cellphone was a total jerk for not helping you though. I hope he gets mugged.

kenna said...

:'( Be strong....

Wida said...

Oh my god, girl! I'm so glad that you are okay now and going home safely. I really keep things realistic when I go out. I know Ninjutsu, but I know it's not enough to ward off bad people. I never have a big purse with me, and I carry a little knife with me as well.

Again, I am so glad you are safe now. No one should have to go through this!

Wida
Missing Amsie Blog

Burning Skies said...

This is so scary! I'm glad your safe. They should really have more cops patrolling around Boracay at night..

ming siew said...

goodness, this is like a wake up call for girls to be extra careful when they're out and about alone....i hope you're doing allright nw, u must be traumatized but you're very strong to actually share your ordeal with the world...i hope you're recovering and whoever the bastard who assaulted you be burn in hell.....

DaMnViXeN said...

omg this happened in boracay? this just worries me so much! my cousins all 18 will be going there soon and with this incident i just cant help but go paranoid!

hope you are recovering well.

Gessyl Enchanted said...

omg! im glad you're ok Dane! :( people should start caring. and girls should be extra careful wherever they may be. nothing is safe in the world nowadays. ;( bIG sAD.

Olive said...

Well I think we should all make a LOUD NOISE and a BIG FUSS on this safety issue in Boracay. Yes, everyone deserves to be safe when on vacation.
That MAN SHOULD BE in JAIL.
Your experience is not going to hurt tourism...it should open the eyes of the officials of that island to work hard on making sure that the island is safe for all, because if they can't, how do they expect to attract tourists who are particular to their safety?
I think you should be an advocate to this Dane. I really think so!

If nothing is done, I can't believe that we are still as pathetic as ever!

Aisa.Paxie said...

really glad you're okay dane. just thinking about the whole scenario made me shiver. It's frightening. I don't know what I'd do if I was in your situation. I admire you for fighting back (not everyone could do that). That guy deserves a lifetime in hell. Be strong and keep on inspiring us.

Love, Pax

http://ipaxme.blogspot.com