Carla’s Story: On Forgetting

This is one of the stories collected by Time’s Up Ateneo for its online campaign, Stories of Resistance, Stories of Hope: A Series of Online Testimonials about the October 15 Protest and the Anti-Sexual Violence Movement in Ateneo. Through this campaign, Time’s Up Ateneo hopes to generate conversation about how the school can continue toward a gender-responsive, safe, and progressive future, while understanding and addressing its flawed past.

TW: sexual violence

Carla’s* Story

*Not her real name

Minsan, hanggang ngayon, nanggagalaiti ako sa galit dahil parang ibabaon na lang ako sa limot ng Ateneo as they move on with their sanitizing PR and other attempts to clean their image, which they don’t deserve. Sometimes I feel sad that people don’t know my story, and that it’s my fault for not being able to be public about it. I also feel angry that, after everything that has happened, there are still no attempts on the part of Ateneo to own up to their responsibility for their past mistakes, make efforts towards reparation for the people who they’ve already hurt, hold the people accountable for the wrong things that they did, and stop the ongoing efforts of retaliation within the institution. Puro move on na lang. Kalimutan na lang ang nakaraan. Quits na lang. Peksman, Ateneo is clean now. Nandun pa rin ang harasser ko sa Ateneo, sitting pretty at naghahasik ng lagim. Kaya hindi ako naniniwala sa pagpapabango ng Ateneo. Huwag kayo magpaloko. Napakabulok ng Ateneo. Hindi lang ninyo alam.

Recently, when I read the draft of the new code, I saw that it was an implicit concession that many of the things that Ateneo did to me were wrong because in the new code those things were no longer allowed, but I have never gotten even a mere apology from Ateneo for what they did to me. All I have are memories of my pain being belittled, of being ignored, and now with Ateneo “moving on” with their “great changes,” I feel that what happened to me is being erased. I will just be forgotten, and it’s easy to do that to me because I’m not important. Feeling ko alam din ‘yun ng harasser ko. Alam niya na makapangyarihan siya at ako hindi. Alam niya makakalusot at makakalusot siya sa mga ginagawa niya, slap on the wrist lang ang pinakamatinding mangyayari sa kanya. Whenever it counts, nakita ko nga kung paano siya kinampihan ng mga makakapangyarihan sa Ateneo.

Minsan iniisip ko na balang araw magbabayad din ang mga may utang sa hustisya, pero minsan iniisip ko na niloloko ko lang ang sarili ko. Dahil walang mangyayari sa mga taong nakaluklok sa kapangyarihan. Hindi sila ever mananagot sa mga ginawa nila sa akin. Dapat mag-move on na lang nga ako. Isipin ko na lang ‘yung other survivors, ipaglaban sila, at tulungan ang susunod na henerasyon. Masyado bang selfish na gusto ko pa rin na sana naman may hustisya din para sa akin at hindi lang para sa iba? Dapat ba makuntento na ako sa kakarampot na hustisya na nakuha ko?

Minsan iniisip ko na lalabas at lalabas din ang katotohanan. Minsan iniisip ko na sobrang galing ng Ateneo sa PR and since di ako willing magbuwis-buhay to go public, mananalo lang ang Ateneo sa paglilinis at paglimot. Minsan iniisip ko na maybe sa future I can go public, but if I do, if I let more years pass in silence, will people then ask me, bakit ngayon ka lang nagsalita? Bakit ngayon mo lang ito bini-bring up? Will it be too late if I become ready later? Minsan naman iniisip ko what if I never become ready? What if going public is not for me? Can I forgive myself and accept that there are certain things na hindi ko talaga kayang gawin? Na marami naman akong ginawa para ipaglaban ang sarili ko, at meron din akong mga pinanalo.

Maybe nga dapat ko nang kalimutan ang Ateneo. Ang bulok dapat binabaon sa lupa. Ang patay dapat nilalamay. Malawak ang mundo. Hindi importante ang Ateneo.

Pero kasinungalingan ‘yun. Napakaimportante ng Ateneo, and that kills me.

Gusto ko i-end ito on a positive note, something like, hindi ko hawak ang Ateneo, pero hawak ko ang sarili ko. Something like, sana ako, bigyan ko na lang ng importansya ang sarili ko, na di ko kakalimutan ang mga pinaglaban ko at ang mga kinaya ko, na no matter what Ateneo makes people believe, alam ko ang totoo.

Pero hindi ako nandoon right now. Hindi ako nasa “empowered stage.” Nasa I-wish-I-didn’t-care stage ako. I wish I didn’t care about Ateneo that much. I wish I didn’t care about the fact that the public doesn’t know the truth. I wish I didn’t care about being forgotten.


Join us in this continuing conversation on October 31 at 8pm at Time’s Up Ateneo’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TimesUpAteneo).

If you would like to share your story in this campaignplease email us at timesupadmu@protonmail.com.

Published by Time's Up Ateneo

We stand with survivors.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: