Trigger warning: Contains sexual harassment
2022 was a difficult year. A whole lot of memorable events happened, both good and bad. The one thing that was reinforced on me despite the series of unfortunate circumstances is acceptance. I am here to unveil my experiences, so join me as I recall everything that transpired.
I ended 2022 on a happy note. Everything was smooth sailing and I even had a partner at that time. But it was not meant to be. I did sense that there was something afoot by the middle of January. My intuition kicked in and eventually I was proven right. The last time I saw my partner was on the 30th, and I even had to force him to meet up with me in Binondo.
My suspicion was confirmed by early February. I was watching him and his team play in a Mobile Legends tournament on Facebook. All of a sudden, a guy commented with affection for my partner. I checked the other guy’s profile out of curiosity. He was good-looking and, based on his photos, was well-off. I knew I had lost my partner to him that day.
There wasn’t a formal break up but I thought it was useless to continue. I sent him a text message on the morning of February 17th, and I received a reply later in the afternoon. He didn’t answer my questions directly but by the tone of his message, I knew that he and the guy were already together.
I never contacted him after, but it was only in April that I decided to block him, his friends, and his new guy on Facebook.
Imagine my surprise when I received a text message from him in May asking if he could get his belongings. I just replied non-nonchalantly that he could. Unfortunately, he never followed through. For two more months, I never heard anything from him which was fine with me.
The biggest surprise was when he showed up at my place on the 10th of July. I was watching The Sandman by myself when I heard a knock on the door. When I opened it, he was there. Out of respect, I let him in. We talked about what happened and I asked him all the questions that I have had since I last saw him. It was probably the closure that I needed at that time.
I will be honest, during the five months that we were incommunicado, I was tempted to contact him. Good thing that I decided not to, because it will just restart the cycle of hurt and hate. That would not be good for my already fragile mental health.
Admittedly, I did mourn for the loss of friendship more than anything. We had a lot of things in common and I thought that it was such a waste of time and energy dwelling on what could have been. I let go and moved on, and I was at peace.
He and I still talk nowadays but mostly about Mobile Legends. I believe that he and his partner are still together, and I didn’t want to come in between them. We’ve remained friends.
If you are uncomfortable with sexual harassment, please stop reading and click here to skip to the next section.
This experience will probably be the hardest to relate, and I still can’t believe that it happened to me.
Since I was still hurting from the breakup, I decided to entertain myself and asked some friends if they wanted an outing, like to the beach or a pool resort. Some agreed and so we set it on May 28 to 29. As the date drew nearer, people begged off one by one. I was pissed off but I couldn’t do anything. In the end, it was just me and two other people. Let’s name them CG and W.
I met CG through an acquaintance and they even guested in my podcast last year. We were playing Genshin Impact together with some friends. He and I were kind of flirty late last year until it stopped. I even asked him to edit a racy photo for me. It was not until later when I learned that he and W were already a couple. The first time I saw W was during a samgyupsal lunch in Morato with my playmates.
Anyway, CG, W, and I went ahead with the original plan. The pool resort was in Bulacan, and so I traveled to the venue. We first met up in SM City Tungko and bought some snacks. Then we rode a tricycle to the resort, which was in a remote area. I forgot the name of the place, and frankly, I don’t want to remember.
It was past lunchtime when we got to our room. There were two beds so I took the one by the door. I was so tried from lack of sleep because I worked earlier that day. so I laid on my bed. CG and W started to make out, oblivious to the fact that they had someone else in the room. Anyway, I turned by back to them and pretended to sleep. By this time, I could hear the gawk gawk 3000 sounds from the other bed. After some time, I heard the bathroom door open and they continued their tryst in there.
I was already up when they finished. I just smiled at them and said that I didn’t mind. CG was clearly embarrassed while W let out a nervous laugh. The rest of the evening was uneventful: we had dinner and then went out for a swim. Unfortunately, there were also some guests at the pool that was open all day. As the night progressed, we decided to head back to the room because the air was getting too cold.
And then the bad thing started.
When I got out of the shower, CG and W were making out again. And I by making out, W was on top of CG and they were under the duvet, naked. I just ignored them and laid on my bed. By this time, it was already around 1 or 2AM. CG obviously became uncomfortable and stopped what he was doing despite W’s insistence.
I’m not sure what got into W, but he started asking me to join them, rather, he wanted me and CG in action because he wanted to “learn.” W was adamant but I declined and stood my ground. I told them to not mind me, and that I will just watch if they wanted to do it. CG was refusing W’s determination to continue. In the end, they just decided to watch a movie on Netflix after showering. I couldn’t hold my sleep at bay, and so I shut my eyes and slept.
The next day, I felt refreshed. I woke up at around 7AM, and W not long after. We went out and had a cigarette. We didn’t mention anything about what happened the night before. Out of nowhere, W told me they did it twice while I slept.
CG was already up when we went back inside, so we all went to the main picnic area to have breakfast. After our breakfast, we decided to explore the area. The resort felt unkempt and was probably nicer during its heyday. Since it was summertime, it was already getting hotter by the minute. It was also almost time to check out so we went back to our room.
I was naked in the shower when I heard the bathroom door open. It was W and he wanted for them to shower with me but I said no. W insisted so I ended my shower quickly and dressed while still inside the bathroom. When I got out, W was naked under his robe and was directing me to their bed where CG was also naked under the duvet. W was holding on to my arm but it was a good thing that I was able to let go.
I stood on the other side of the bed while drying my hair and stuffing my things in my bag. W was trying hard to seduce me with CG, who was mortified under the sheets. It went on for quite some time because W won’t let up.
In the end, I gave in. I felt like a prey animal backed up into a corner where there was no way out.
After a few minutes, I stopped what I was doing. There was no climax. I gave what they, rather what W, wanted and that is to see me having sex with CG. CG was not aroused even if W tried to continue doing it in the shower. I went back to Manila with W and acted as if nothing happened. We had late lunch and parted ways after eating.
Looking back, I tried to blame myself for allowing it to happen. I told my friend the events that unfolded after a few days. He said that I shouldn’t blame myself and that is how victims of sexual abuse thinks of the situation. It took about three days for what happened to sink in.
I sent CG a message in the morning of June 2 while I was working and have blocked both of them from my social media and also on other messaging apps, and also from Genshin Impact. I realized that W was rotten inside and out. I’m not sure if they are still continuing their modus operandi. Someday, somehow, they would meet their comeuppance.
My work was in a constant state of flux earlier this year. The company that I work for was bought by a bigger health management company because they needed our expertise in gathering leads for clinical trials. I was tasked to headhunt for other community coordinators because we were continuing the social media department that was disbanded in late 2019.
The day that I was going to post for the job vacancy, an acquaintance of mine, S, messaged me. Coincidentally, he was also looking for work. Since he had experience managing his previous job’s Facebook page, I scheduled an interview between him and my boss. Luckily, he got hired.
A few months later, two positions were opened. I asked S if he knew people, and he referred two friends. I would like to note here that we have a no relative policy when hiring. This was because of the situation with my other co-worker, who is such a total liar.
Out of ignorance and trust, I scheduled the two people, C and A, and they eventually got the job. To celebrate, we decided to hang out to work and play at Robinsons Magnolia, where we watched Thor: Love and Thunder.
The mall was packed that day and we were having a hard time finding a place for their coffee after the movie. We ended up at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL), but S and C didn’t like the coffee there. A and I went ahead to CBTL to work. During our march to the coffee shop, A had a slip of the tongue and told me that C was related to her “distantly.” I told her that it was a red flag, and I had to report it to our boss. When it was time to leave, the three of them stayed while I went home. They must have talked about what I have learned.
I talked to one of my co-worker, a senior community manager whom I’ve known for a decade. I relayed to him what I just learned and asked if I should inform our boss. He said that I should before things get out of hand. So, during the one-on-one meeting with my boss, I told him everything. He was cool about it but I apologized and said that it didn’t sit well with me. He understood what I was feeling at that moment.
A few days later, I got a call from C and S. C was apologizing but it was obvious that they were justifying the situation. I asked if S knew, and he said yes. I dropped the call immediately and stepped back to collect my thoughts. After a few minutes, S messaged me, stating that for as long as they were doing their jobs correctly, their personal relationship shouldn’t matter. He also mentioned that we hid the fact that they had other jobs even if the boss discouraged it.
Things changed following that call. I told them that I won’t care about their personal lives anymore, and that we’ll just have a professional working relationship. I removed S and C from my social media also. In the following weeks, A and C were messaging me, apologizing for what happened. I reiterated that it will be just all work from that point moving forward.
Lately, the three of them have been at the receiving end of my ire because they haven’t been executing their jobs well. I just hope that it won’t come to a point where one or all of them will be let go. Last I heard, S and C had a falling out because of what S did during their out of town trip, but it’s their affair and I won’t be taking any part in it.
The 2022 Presidential Election results
So it came to pass that Atty. Leni Robredo lost. I have learned to accept that. She also said that there was no evidence of election fraud that we know of. It is suspicious, however, that we can’t feel the presence of the supposedly 31 million plus people who voted for the winner. It was evident during the celebration night when the venue wasn’t even half full.
We’re not even a year into the new administration but the inflation and prices of basic commodities have gone way up. Granted that there’s an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, but it seems that this administration is not doing enough to mitigate it. Ang dami kasing nagpaloko sa fake news at Tallano gold. As Twitter user supernegatrona once said, “Quinina, ginusto niyo ‘yan.”
Good things also happened in 2022. I got to travel and to help out a friend with his workshop.
Back to Cagayan de Oro
Traveling can be therapeutic. I thought that I could forgot my partner when I traveled to Cagayan de Oro for five days back in March. I visited my friend and co-worker Rowena who lived there with her family. They took me to a beach in Misamis Oriental, which I forget the name. I also cooked bistek Tagalog for their family. I think I will write about my trip when I return to CDO next year.
Birthday Celebration in Baguio City
My friend Toto and I went to Baguio City where I secretly celebrated my birthday in July. We ate at places where we don’t usually dine, met up with friends, and ̶s̶t̶a̶l̶k̶e̶d̶ visited one cute social media personality. That was a short but fun trip.
Trip to Taal
Of course, that boat ride on Taal Lake would always be an awesome memory. My sister, her kids, and I got a chance to island hop – free of charge – courtesy of the private housing development besides Taal Lake. We went there to check a property for our sister abroad.
I was invited again by Toto to facilitate in their improv workshop with doctors and staff of the ITRMC in San Fernando, La Union. I missed improv so I said yes to him. We also went to the beach and ate at my favorite Mamalol’s. All in all it was a very enjoyable visit. I can’t wait to go back with my friends.
The Bottomline: Acceptance
Why acceptance? It’s the re-realization that people are rational beings and that they have their own agenda. I accept and acknowledge that I don’t have control on anyone’s actions. What I do have is control of my emotions and actions. The most important undertaking is how to adjust so that their actions will have a minimal impact on me and my mental health. What’s important is me and no one is allowed to take that away.
Acceptance does not mean defeat. It simply means that I am armed with the right knowledge so that I am more prepared when the situation happens again. I, however, won’t let it.
I would like to apologize if I haven’t been podcasting or blogging much in 2022. There has been a lot on my plate and I haven’t had a quiet time to sit and talk. I did publish an interview with Sessionistas on my podcast and YouTube channels. I will try my best next year and probably guest more people. If you’re interested, please send me a message.
Dear 2023, please be kinder.
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