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‘Anti-Asian hate’ concern resurfaces after recent attacks on two Pinoys in New York

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Aug 16, 2021 6:50 pm

Our kababayans in the US are being urged to remain vigilant following separate violent attacks on two Filipinos in New York recently.

On Aug. 10, Filipino nurse Potri Ranka Manis, founder of Kinding Sindaw folk dance group, was violently assaulted by two individuals while she was distributing face masks to fellow passengers on the subway in New York City.

Manis was reportedly on board the E Train in Manhattan when she was violently assaulted by two men, who lashed out anti-Asian statements as they attacked her.

She reportedly sustained woulds in different parts of her body and was rushed to the emergency room for treatment. 

Potri Ranka Manis is a nurse and the founder of Kinding Sindaw dance theater company in New York. Photo from Potri Ranka Manis' Facebook page

In a video she posted on Facebook, Manis urged New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to address the hate crimes that continue to be committed against Asians in the city.

“Violence against Asians, violence because of COVID-19 precaution confusion, is another virus that attacks the New York City community now, particularly Asians and Muslims like me,” said Manis, who is active in the #StopAsianHate movement in her community in New York.

On Aug. 7 theater actor and director, and Miss Saigon alum Miguel Braganza was mugged at gunpoint in front of the building where he lives in the Upper West Side in New York City. 

Speaking with Super Radyo dzBB, Braganza said he had just stepped out of his Uber ride when a man jumped on him and pushed him on the side of the car.

Braganza detailed that the man targeted to get his bag and grew frustrated at him. So he pushed Miguel on the ground and hurled an anti-Asian slur on him before he was physically attacked.

“He said ‘You f*cking Asian,’ and he hit me with a gun on my head,” Braganza said.

Michael Braganza is a theater actor and director, and Miss Saigon alum. Photo from Michael Braganza's Facebook page

In an interview with New York-based The FilAm magazine, Braganza revealed his attacker was a black man who was with another black man that was on the street.

Braganza told The FilAm he was scared the muggers might pull the trigger so he shouted for help, to which the neighbors were alerted and the suspects ran away. The police arrived soon after. One of the neighbors filmed Braganza with a bloodied face and holding a towel on his head.

With blood gushing from his head, Braganza was taken to the New York Presbyterian Hospital and was discharged after several hours. 

The incident was a failed robbery attempt, according to the police, while Braganza said in the Super Radyo interview that the police have yet to contact him for updates on whether the suspects have been caught.

Following these recent attacks, Philippine Consul General in New York Elmer Cato recently reminded the Filipino community to be vigilant in these times.

“Just when we though the race-based violence inflicted on our kababayan here in New York had died down, two more incidents in the past week again underscored the need for members of the Filipino community to remain vigilant,” Cato said in a statement.

The Philippine Consulate General also issued advisories to remind Filipinos to remain alert, especially in public transportation. They are also urged to call 911 and the consulate if they encounter similar situations.

“We again call on New York City authorities to take the necessary actions to make sure that those behind these violent acts committed against our kababayan are arrested and brought to court,” Cato wrote. “We reiterate our request for increased police visibility in the city, particularly in the subway system.”

In June, a Filipino consular officer was verbally assaulted on a train as she was on her way to the consulate.

In February, 61-year-old Fil-Am Noel Quintana needed a hundred stitches, as he was slashed across the face by a man on the New York subway in an unprovoked attack.