Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Khristine Corpus: College Student Almost Kidnapped in Parang, Marikina

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, street basketball players Khristine got away from an attacker. Ingat po lagi
Now that I have finally disclosed this issue with my parents, I can finally share it to spread awareness.
This happened last last week. It was around 6-7pm and I was walking home when a man I didn't recognize suddenly put his arm around me and held a gun to my waist. He didn't speak or ask for anything, he just walked while dragging me along. I always wondered why people who were assaulted like that weren't able to defend themselves when they could easily scream for help. Now I know why. The fear paralyzed me. I can barely make a sound or have the strength to push him away. I desperately looked into the eyes of the people passing us by to make a connection but to no avail. I was screaming, crying, begging for help but no one could hear me. That's what it felt like. People would look at me strangely, and for a moment I would feel saved thinking they got what I was trying to tell them only to see them look away at the last second or bow their heads thinking the man beside me was my dad, my uncle, my friend.
We passed one street after the other.
We passed by our street.
And then I lost hope.
I saw our gate, and I remembered my brother calling me earlier that afternoon because he needed help with his homework. I remembered promising to help him with it after dinner. I remembered my parents in the province who texted me just a while back telling me to text back once I got home. I remembered the people I fought with. The people I haven't got the chance to apologize to yet. The people I haven't said I-love-you to enough just yet.
I remembered, and realized I might not have the chance to do those things again. Ever.
For the thousandth time, I prayed. But this time, it wasn't for a miracle. I no longer hoped that someone would suddenly save me. It was getting darker, and less people were around. I prayed for forgiveness, for gratitude. I prayed for the ones I love, for the ones I hurt, the dreams I've had, the things I could have, should have, and would have done. It hit me then. So this is what it feels like when you're about to die.
But I am writing this post which means yes, I survived. We walked a few more streets leading to the dark part of the barangay. I was already decided on running even if that meant he'd pull the trigger and I'd be hit without a chance of surviving. Then, a group of men who looked like they were about to play basketball walked towards us. One of them suddenly said "Uy Camille, musta?" (No, I didn't know him) The man with his arm over me continued to drag me faster and that confirmed the guy's suspicions that something was wrong. He then said "Teka pare kinakausap ko kaibigan ko" then suddenly pulled him away with two of his friends pulling me in the opposite direction.
Everything was a blur after that. They took care of him. I went home. I was shaken, but decided against telling anyone until it was safer. Until I was okay.
To my parents, I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner. You had the right to know, but I hope you understand my reasons.
To everyone, please remember:
1. There is no "too early" or "too late" for criminals. There was still light and a lot of people when this happened.
2. Criminals do not choose places. This happened in a place where a lot of people are present and active, and again there was still light.
3. Always be aware of your surroundings and be alert of the people around you. You might be saving not only your life, but someone else's.
4. If there's something you have to do, or someone you have to talk to, do it now. After what happened, I realized how crucial time is. We may never have a second chance.
5. Pray. Trust me, it does a lot.
I hope no one else experiences this. It's so sad that this place I used to call home is no longer a safe haven I could lovingly come back to. I've lived here for eighteen years of my life. Yet, when I walk the streets I no longer see childhood memories and familiar places. I see scary men and vicious eyes and dark paths, it's hard to breathe at night.
P.S. This happened in Parang, Marikina City. To those familiar and living in the area, sa Recto-Rajah Soliman St. ako naakbayan tapos dumiretso sya sa may lagpas Twin River (lagpas ng street ng John Bosco tsaka playground/court)
UPDATE: We went to the police station and apparently, there are numerous cases like this reported recently within the vicinity. Please take care everyone, especially the ladies.

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