This open party issue on 24 Oras, Yahoo and GMANEWS.TV is familiar 🙂 Sorry I haven’t seen it in TV but just read the article via Yahoo Messenger Featured Article.
Some definitions first: An open party is a party organized by a class or organization from a school (usually biggie name private schools) and invitations are posted via the internet. Its “open” meaning anybody can attend provided that they pay for the tickets. The party may be likened to the good old soiree and I also heard this is the “IN” thing for Manila’s upper class high school and college students. It is also my assumption that this is a good business (for the party and events organizers) since I heard there is this one open party that supposedly for 300 people only but lo and behold, some 800 young people bought the tickets, attended the gig and it was a big hit 🙂 . Drinks are offered in the open party. Parties like that can go wild. It can go ugly too.
Below is an open letter of a mother of a high school student who got beaten up in this so called open party. I am not taking sides here, but I feel it’s my social responsibility to inform parents and other people (bloggers, readers, students, etc.) on the dangers that these open parties can bring to them and their loved ones. I reserve the last part of my post for my personal comments and the reason I tagged it as scandal.
I am quoting the open letter from Ms. Noemi’s aboutmyrecovery.com article. Read on:
February 9, 2009
Dear Ateneo parents, students and STOYA members,
Three months back, I found out that an “OPEN PARTY” organized by students of the Assumption was booked at our village clubhouse. In this event, the venue meant for 300 pax was packed with as many as 800, due to the zealousness of its organizers to maximize their earnings. Many of the attendees had no recourse but to spill over to the parking area.
That night, a nasty brawl occurred right outside the venue, and the security incident report outlined the destruction caused to the clubhouse facilities, the sight of inebriated teenagers holding bottles of liquor roaming the streets, and the discovery of used condoms on the park grounds and alleys the following day. (You can verify this yourself.)
We were on an out of town trip when all these happened and I could only imagine the chaos that went on.
Last January 16, 2009 my son Marcel Piezas, a 2nd year Ateneo student, pleaded with me to allow him to attend an “OPEN PARTY” organized by 3rd year Poveda High School students at Greenmeadows. I warned him about the untoward incidents in our village but due to his persistent pleas, reassurances, acceptance of certain conditions (e.g. curfew) coupled with guilt trips of being labeled an outcast once denied of participation, I succumbed to his appeal.
That night at around half past eleven, I found myself praying for Marcel’s protection, possibly owing to vague intuition, not knowing what was going just a stone’s throw away.
At around 11:30 p.m., after having danced with around three other girls, Marcel asked for a dance with Ms. A (name withheld). The dance was uneventful except for the part where she asked Marcel if she could take a picture of them, which my son agreed to.
Immediately after the dance, Marcel thanked her, and excused himself since his 12 midnight curfew was fast approaching. He and his classmate B (name withheld) proceeded to exit the dance hall to meet four other classmates who were already at the parking area.
Three meters from the exit, two teen-aged boys came out of the hall together with Ms. A, the girl Marcel just danced with, blaringly asking, “Sino ang nangbastos sa pinsan ko? Kayo ba? Kayo ba?”
It seems that, Ms. A pointed out my son to the two boys, wilfully or otherwise, prompting them to pull his shoulder and start punching him on the head, which caused a laceration and multiple hematomas.
The two boys shouted invectives at Marcel (e.g. “Sabihin mo sa nanay mo, malansa ang kaniyang puk_”, “pu__ ina mo, gusto mo mamatay?” etc.) and repeatedly slapped him.
After a while, the group of three had swelled to five. They were joined by other boys (names withheld). A few seconds more, and the crowd had expanded to around twenty, arm in arm, they formed a circle around Marcel. They continued to punch, slap, insult and spit at my defenceless boy. One of them even ordered him to kneel down and apologize, which he did, even if he knew he was not guilty of anything, if only to stop the beating. After his apology, he was punched hard on the mouth, causing a cut on the lower lip, and three front teeth to turn mobile.
There were big bodied bouncers hired during the party, and some village guards manning the gates. Neither of them lifted a finger to help my son. All they uttered was “Tama na yan.” The lone defender of Marcel was a school mate, Boy B (name withheld).
At the expense of enduring a few blows himself, he pleaded with the boys and tried to convince them that they have the wrong guy, and that Marcel was a good boy, incapable of the accusation they were throwing at him.
The mauling miraculously stopped for around 15 seconds (probably around the same time I was praying for him) which gave another brave classmate the chance to grab then bloody Marcel by the arm and pull him out of the circle of tormentors. They ran for it and left in a car with their other classmates who were too stunned and traumatized themselves.
Minutes after escaping the assailants, Marcel continued receiving phone calls through his mobile phone,
wherein he was harassed and taunted. The calls and text have persisted until a week ago.
After our preliminary investigation, we discovered that the aggressors are members of TGF or “The Good Fraternity”, a loose group of high school students (boys and a few girls) who frequent the party scene, SOME of whom are reputed to be bullies, war freaks, alcoholics, possibly drug users, and carriers of deadly weapons such as guns, knives, tasers, etc.
Apparently, some of them use this strategy of bullying helpless-looking boys in the guise of being gallant men saving a damsel in distress for having been “disrespected”.
The exact same scenario by the same people happened to a fellow Atenean at a different party a few weeks earlier. Many other boys from other schools have experienced beating from the same group for the most senseless reason as having been ogled at or having flexed biceps and triceps to the annoyance of the bullies.
What happened to Marcel was a nightmare not only to him but to ourselves as parents. My husband who is working in Canada can only cry in helplessness at not having been around to defend or at the very least comfort him.
I cannot sleep soundly knowing that our sons and daughters are prone to being swallowed by profligacy. Did you parents know that kids nowadays dance “spooning” style? Did you know that there are mobile bars for rent that serve “mocktails” or full-fledged cocktails and beer in bubble containers to our young teen-agers unmindful of the alcohol prohibition for minors (ask Sober Club , Elation , Party Fuel , Club Fishbone , Booze, Event Shaker , On the Rocks , etc.).. I even heard that open parties are now being used by pushers as their market for mood altering wares.
I didn’t even know that the Greenmeadows party that Marcel attended was entitled “Lust”, which is one of a series of seven parties named after the seven deadly sins. I was shocked at having found out the organizers’ preference for their party names.
I have vowed to make this an advocacy. We are filing a complaint with the authorities about the matter, not only to seek justice for my son, but to stop this culture of violence and immorality among the youth.
I would have wanted to treat this as privately and as quietly as I can but recent developments have forced me to do otherwise. I came across this blog site which made my stomach turn at seeing how insensitive, frivolous, and unprincipled the authors of this entry and its supporters are.
Log on and read for yourselves.
(EDIT: Blog is currently locked but you can download here)
Rumors are spreading like wildfire and the ugly misinformation is causing yet another trauma on my son. Some stories are going around about his being too drunk to have had control of himself, thus the
molestation. To correct the defamation being spread, and to give these STOYA boys who have a lot of growing up to do a piece of my mind, allow me categorically say that:
1) My son NEVER molested anyone and we can prove this to the hilt. The bloggers didn’t even give him the benefit of the doubt by adding the world “allegedly”. They wrote it as if it were a fact.
Instead of supporting your fellow Atenean, you are pushing him towards the furnace by spreading this lie.
2) My son, who, for one week after the assault, endured nightmares and anxiety attacks over possible retaliatory acts by perceived sympathetic blue blooded members of TGF NEVER squealed on any one to the APSA. He bore his psychological injuries which far outweighed the physical wounds with dignity and bravery. He never even brought up the incident with his football coach who benched him during two crucial games for having missed a week’s practice clueless that Marcel was waiting for the contusions on his head to heal. For all I know, he was also possibly avoiding aggressive tussling, inevitable in the sport, which might stir fearsome memories. He felt so down but didn’t want his coach to think he was making excuses for his absences.
3) I never complained verbally, or in writing, to APSA regarding what happened to my son knowing that STOYA per se, is not the enemy. I simply wrote a letter of excuse for Marcel’s two-day absence while he was recovering from the trauma.
4) I never accused STOYA of harassment when they approached Marcel in an effort to convince me to tell Mr. Dennis Dator of their innocence regarding the mauling. I simply felt that it is futile to make that appointment since I never filed a complaint against them in the first place.
5) To say that “it can only take ONE person to destroy a party. All he/she needs to do is to tell his/her parents to call up the school, name names and say drugs or what not has been going around” reeks of a distorted sense of values. It’s as if parties are the end all and be all of life’s existence. Never mind if a person gets hurt… the show must go on! Besides, I never did what they accuse me of doing.
6) Do you honestly think that this line “The police can always be ordered to go to a party to end it” is preventive or is it a curative solution to a done disaster which only takes a few minutes to happen? Hunky bouncers and security guards were around when Marcel was beaten up. What good did they do?
7) From STOYA: “Pu**a, everyday people DIE due to far more worse (sic) incidents than mere fist fights and now people start making this such a HUGE deal since it happened to someone close to them?”
Response: What if the blow on Marcel’s head were a tad stronger than they were causing irreversible brain damage? Would that be big deal enough to warrant your attention?
8.) From STOYA: “don’t call us insensitive and immoral for promoting alcohol under the age of 18. You’ve never had a shot of vodka or a cold glass of beer? Don’t be a hypocrite and lie. It’s part of high school”
Response: The law is the law and it was created for a reason, and it is meant to be adhered to, otherwise suffer penalties.
9) “Also, It’s the parents’ choice to allow their children to go and do these things so if you have a problem with parties, don’t allow your children”
Response: Parents unwittingly allow their children to attend these parties without the knowledge of the imminent dangers that abound in such parties, thus, my cause of letting it be known. No matter how well we try to raise our children, they sometimes make the wrong, stubborn choices and succumb to peer pressure thinking that what is prevalent is “cool”, or is acceptable.
10) STOYA, your entrepreneurial spirit is partly admirable. “Dreams of creating seven parties in 10 months”.
However, if your ventures are money making, may I ask if you give out receipts to your patrons? Do you pay taxes to the BIR? Maybe this is another angle worth looking at.
Dear STOYA boys and supporters,
I hope you broaden your minds a little bit more and see where concerned school authorities and parents are coming from. You, our dear boys are gifts from God entrusted to us for guidance and moulding. Our commitment to our Maker, and to the Giver of life is to lead you back to Him in life eternity. It’s true that life is full of risks, that life is well lived if freedom abounds, and that it is important to stand by what we believe in. But as graduating students of a highly reputable Catholic school for which your parents toil hard to make your enrollment possible, I would have hoped that you had loftier beliefs that you would adamantly fight for. Year in, year out, you learn in CLE that free will has its limitations. As minors your care rests on those who are supposedly more ripe in wisdom. If we can shield you from as much pain, suffering and harm as we can, we will do so by all means because that is an expression of LOVE. You may sulk all you want but take it like a man. Like you all said, you will be adults in a few months time anyway. Start acting like one!
MRS. CELINE PIEZAS
The links from the open letter may have been stripped when I copied it to my blogpost.
Disclaimer: As I mentioned before on one of my not so famous post, this site happens to be my blog and one of the little privileges I’ve got here is to have my own online social rant space. If you have issues with my post, contact me via my contact page
So my comments:
1. Open Party. This is the first time I heard of this open party thing. I got the text of the open letter from Ms. Noemi of aboutmyrecovery.com and heard it also from Raven (she said she got it from Chuvaness.com). This was not yet the “IN” thing when I was in high school (oh reminiscing). Oh well things change a lot nowadays but this change is bad IMHO. I hope that school officials, event organizers and government officials (yes I think there is this local city agency in charge of giving out permits for such kind of gatherings) should step up and work together closely to monitor problem and put some remedies if needed
2. Why the Scandal tag? I find the high school kid’s retort to Mrs. Piezas open letter scandalous. I guess he knows that something is wrong but he is still zealously defending it and even passing the blame to others.
Quoting some parts of the reply:
… HOWEVER, it can only take ONE person to destroy a party. All he/she needs to do is to tell his/her parents to call up the school, name names and say drugs or what not has been going around. Also, the police can always be ordered to go to a party to end it. We all know for a fact that it’s illegal to drink at such an age. We’re just disappointed something like this had to happen for something not big at all. Pu**a, everyday people DIE due to far more worse incidents than mere fist fights and now people start making this such a HUGE deal since it happened to someone close to them? Parties have been going on since FOREVER which is precisely why we can’t see why this had to happen NOW. We have no other intention but to have FUN when we host parties so don’t call us insensitive and immoral for promoting alcohol under the age of 18. You’ve never had a shot of vodka or a cold glass of beer? Don’t be a hypocrite and lie. It’s part of high school, face the fact! We are given the CHOICE (hence the name OPEN party) whether to drink or not. Also, It’s the parents’ choice to allow their children to go and do these things so if you have a problem with parties, don’t allow your children. It’s as simple as that! Don’t go around whining and complaining how evil the young adolescents of the Philippine society are today
I admire the passion he put into this…well… how should I call it… “defense”? I guess it’s because of his/her youth and I don’t blame him/her for this.
But in my opinion, his/her reply is a scandal 🙂 hence we now have the STOYA Open Party Scandal
P.S. to the HS-kid: Kindly tell your party mates to dispose condoms properly OK? 😀 EDIT: striked out on 02.18.2009
3. To Parents/Guardians: Be aware of what’s happening around you and your kids. Awareness to the issues is a good start, but please don’t panic and don’t fret or over-react about this issue. Teach the young one to be responsible and they will be responsible… in due time.
4. Maybe this issue is worthy to be placed inside the my p!nay scandal collection. What you think?
Any comments, violent reactions, anything, feel free to leave your comments here (I’m moderating it btw) or drop me a note via my contact page.