Ramgen’s wounded girl laments absence of undo button
MANILA, Philippines—She may not be able to speak for now, but she can be heard.
Janelle Manahan, the severely wounded girlfriend of actor Ramgen Bautista, wrote a poem for her boyfriend days after his murder on October 28 that she herself witnessed in BF Homes, Parañaque City.
Her father, Julius Manahan, said Janelle suddenly asked for a paper and marker last November 1 and started writing down her thoughts.
“When she wrote that, she was not yet informed of Ramgen’s death. After we told her what happened, we still try our best even now to evade her questions,” said Julius.
“Actually, even after her two operations, it’s an unwritten rule to never talk about Ram in her presence,” he added.
The poem did not name anyone nor specify the details of what happened that night, but the theme obviously pointed to the tragedy, in which she herself was shot in the face.
Same characters, same plot/
Different stories, different setups/
My days and nights has been like this/
Thinking what could have I done differently so/
None of these exist/
I wanna cry, I wanna cry so bad/
But what’s the point/
When there’s no UNDO button/
To make it all alright
“I had a hard time reading that poem. At that time, I almost slipped to tell her that Ramgen is gone,” said Julius.
“She has always been expressive, even as a child. She always wrote poems before. But I was just surprised about this poem,” said Julius.
The family told her about Ramgen’s death only on November 5 because “she needs to know.”
“When she heard that Ramona and RJ were tagged as suspects by the police, she was shocked and she cried. But when she found out about Ram, she cried so hard that it triggered a nosebleed,” he said.
Janelle underwent an operation on November 7 to reconstruct the four fractures in her face. Three days after the operation, her face was swollen—“bloated” as described by her father—while recovering in a hospital in Muntinlupa City.
“The doctors had to open her mouth so wide for the operation. There are occasional pangs of pain, but we give her pain relievers. We try to be strong for her,” her father said.
A team of six specialists installed a square titanium plate with four holes and an L-shaped titanium plate with five holes to reconstruct her face.
According to Janelle’s father, she suddenly woke up from a deep sleep on the eve of Ramgen’s burial and said she dreamt about her boyfriend.
“She said, ‘Daddy, I dreamt of Ram. We were riding in a car but I don’t know where we’re going. Then he suddenly said I’m lucky to be given a second life,” Julius said.
Janelle’s father said that his 22-year-old daughter was still weak but in stable condition. She took a bullet below the right eye and was stabbed on both sides of the chest.
According to Janelle’s statements to the police, she opened the door when Ramgen’s sister, Maria Ramona Belen Bautista, knocked to borrow a video camera. A masked man immediately came in and shot her and then her boyfriend. She said she asked Ramona to call an ambulance but she never came back. Janelle managed to text her relatives for help.
In an earlier interview, Julius said the family was willing to help in the investigation “to give Ram and Janelle justice.”
“Even if she can’t speak in the next few weeks while the investigation or hearing is ongoing, there are other ways to communicate. We are ready to help,” he said.
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