The case of a Filipina who was allegedly raped by a US Marine while his friends cheered him on has been in the Philippine news the past few days. According to reports, "Nicole" (not her real name) was drinking with her sister at a bar in Subic Bay Freeport, became drunk, and was thus unable to fend off what she says was Lance Corporal Daniel Smith's sexual assault.
I don't really know too much about the case; Nicole claims she was raped while the defendant's lawyer says Nicole and Smith had consensual sex. At this point, no one but the people involved really knows who is telling the truth. Highly disturbing as this case is, what actually caught my eye was this paragraph:
"The woman has testified that she was intoxicated on the night of Nov. 1, 2005 while dancing with her sister at a bar when Smith grabbed her by the wrist to dance. She said that she'd continued to drink, and was then forced out of the bar on Smith's back."
This brought back memories of my college days at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. No, I wasn't raped by anyone! But looking back, I'm amazed (and extremely grateful) that nothing of the sort happened to me or my friends. You see, two of my best buddies and dorm roommates (let's call these girls G and B) and I had a habit of going to the bars on Katipunan Avenue late at night and sneaking back into the dorm in the wee hours of the morning. While we were never dead drunk after those trips to the bar, we certainly weren't just tipsy either. None of us had a car; we'd get back to the dorm by hitching a ride with strangers. Now imagine you're a man with a perverted, evil mind. What would you think if you saw three young and obviously intoxicated girls thumbing a ride at the side of a practically empty and dark road at 2 or 3 AM? And what if you had your like-minded friends with you? Good lord, I shudder at the thought of how reckless and stupid we were back then.
This recklessness is one of the things that characterizes teenagers; this feeling of power and invincibility. As someone once said, "Youth is wasted on the young."
So ladies, please, please be careful whenever you hit the bars for a drink! Make sure someone has your back covered, preferably someone who's stone-cold sober.
I don't go much to bars anymore, but I still like alcohol. There was a time when I found myself drinking at least four beers a night -- every night of the week. This went on for quite some time and not surprisingly, I became a dead ringer for a whale. I finally had had enough, so instead of drinking at least four bottles a night, I went down to about several beers around twice a month. This reduction in alcohol consumption, along with some exercise and a diet (sort of), paid off and I'm somewhat normal-looking again. I still crave beer sometimes and I'm envious of people like my friend (I'll call him Blue Light) and another pal (I'll call her Lush) who can drink alcohol every night without ill effect.
I think I'll have me a couple of bottles (probably more than a couple!) this weekend. It's been raining hard in Manila because we're in the wet season and because a storm is coming our way. Great weather for drinking. :)