Horrifying, Humbling, Humiliating, A Real Life Experience
I have taken some time to think and re-think my position since this experience took place. I am now ready to share with the forum. A few know already but I needed time to think.
First and foremost, this is not a knock the Philippines post. Nor is it meant to scare anyone away. I just hope my bad experience will help others avoid the same situation.
OK here goes!
Bukawali took me to a place called Yayoy's in the uptown area near Cebu Doctors University's old campus building. I was very impressed and decided to take Kristine there for dinner.
We were walking down to the place and we passed a very busy seafood restaurant and decided to eat there first before visiting Yayoy's. It was good and we were very full. So we left there and headed to Yayoy's, ½ block away. As we neared Yayoy's, there were five police cars with their lights flashing. Being a bit alarmed, we inquired and were told there was a parking dispute between the owner of Yayoy's and the owner of the seafood restaurant. We chose to enter since it seemed mundane.
It was not crowded even though it was a Friday night. We sat off to the rear a bit. There was a fantastic band playing and another band did a guest set that was fantastic. We were having some cocktails and enjoying the music. We even danced a bit. All was well, or so I thought.
I went to the CR and then stopped at the cashier to pay the bill. She told me P700+ so I gave her P1000 and asked for one more drink. My waiter was there and said he would bring me the drink and the change. He brought the drink but no change. Then another guy shows up with the bill. I told him I already paid the bill and I wanted my change.
So then the owner's son shows up. He's the manager it seems. He is very belligerent and is sucking straight liquor form a glass. He has two guys behind him asking me where my receipt was. This guy is really mean and I tell him if he wants to get down, let's step outside. (Yes I know that was a mistake.) Then his father steps in. He tells me to pay the bill and I refuse. Then after some arguing, I finally got the picture that it was better to just pay and leave. So I told him four times that I would pay the bill, but that I would run his place down to others after being ripped off. He misunderstood me and thought I said I would shut his place down.
At this juncture, the son had snuck around behind me. He then tackled me and sucker punched me. Then the other three, including the owner, joined in and beat and kicked me for quite a while. I did not go out, but it was close. They kicked me in the kidneys and I could hardly walk.
Kristine wants to call the police but I'm apprehensive about the effectiveness of the police. But I tell her to go ahead. They show up and don't even come inside. They wait for me to be able to get up and come to the car. Kristine overheard the owner on the phone with the police precinct before we even left. It was then that she realized who he was. Yayoy is the nickname for (name removed), a city councilor from Cebu City.
We found out that the five police cars had been there earlier because (name removed) had threatened the life of a CITOM officer for ticketing an illegally parked car. We later found out that the five new police cars, along with one more, had just been appropriated by (name removed) for the precinct. Go figure!
At the precinct the councilor shows up with three so called witnesses. They tell lie after lie saying I was drunk and causing all the problems and that I could not afford to pay my bill. I say bullshit, and the councilor freaks out saying how dare I disrespect him in front of the police. Kristine throws down a wad of pesos saying they were lying about not being able to pay the bill. Kristine's father shows up and I feel a bit bolstered since he is a PNP officer. But as luck would have it, his boss is the officer in charge of the precinct that night. The first thing the boss says to her father is a smart remark about where was he stationed. That meant stay out of it or you will be stationed in Mindanao.
So I talk to the OIC off to the side and asked if I should just leave since it seemed futile. They did not even bring in the son who originally attacked me. He was drunk and the father did not want him there. The OIC just played dumb, so I decided to leave.
Upon leaving they tried to take me to the hospital for a sobriety test and I told them to go fly a kite. Well maybe not like that! We went home and I cried like a baby. Not from pain so much, just pure frustration at being helpless.
The next day anger set in. I hated the Philippines and everyone in it. I told Kristine to pack everything of hers and the kids and move back home. I was mad at her to for not telling me who this guy was, also for not grabbing a chair or something and helping me. But obviously I was irrational and overly critical. She sent them home with the yaya and quietly stayed downstairs till I was able to make my way down the stairs. At first I was angry at her for not leaving. But then I felt how much I needed her and she just took care of me for three days. I was seriously considering a trip to the ER but I did not trust them either since they were Filipino.
Saturday morning the radio station called and asked me to do a live interview. They had been after (name removed) for quite awhile regarding violence and his corrupt ways. But I knew better than that. Suddenly I would have been deported or worse.
After several days, I was able to rule out kidney damage and figure out it was a torn muscle. I am an amateur doc and did a lot of research on my symptoms. Luckily I was right. But it was still 7 – 10 days before I could walk half way correctly.
It is not easy for me to post this. I do not need to hear "I told you so." I only hope it helps someone else stay away from this type situation. My best guess regarding the reason for the attack was twofold. First there was already testosterone and adrenalin in the air because of the previous altercation with CITOM. Second was that a young Filipino was pissed that an older American / expat was dancing with a beautiful Filipina in their place. So they set me up!
Wrong place, wrong time, a bad decision to call the son out and a miscommunication about shutting the place down were the catalysts and lessons learned. I have gotten over my hatred of the Phils but I am much the wiser about the rules or lack thereof here.
A very sad story indeed.