“I experienced all sorts of abuse under the hand of a narcissistic man.”
This was one of the lines that accompanied a couple of Instagram posts last week, showing indie actress Barbara Ruaro’s face with black and blue spots. While she does not name her abuser, signs point to her ex-lover and Eraserheads lead guitarist Marcus Adoro.
This happened to me yesterday, on top of other cuts, bruises, and almost a year of psychological manipulation. Done by someone I loved and cared for deeply. Domestic violence is not limited in terms of bruises. Psychological, verbal, and sexual abuse are also considered. I experienced all sorts of abuse under the hand of a narcissistic man. The vicious cycle he has created for himself and others should be put to a stop. I will share my story soon.
“This happened to me yesterday, on top of other cuts, bruises, and almost a year of psychological manipulation, done by someone I loved and cared for deeply,” she writes, adding that domestic violence does not include only the physical. “Psychological, verbal, and sexual abuse are also considered. The vicious cycle he has created for himself and others should be put to a stop. I will share my story soon.”
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On September 8, she did, despite the advice of people who have told her not to dwell on the matter and to merely move on. “Some people have suggested that exposing his name to the public will bring me instant gratification. Some people think it’s my fault because I stayed, kept silent, and enabled him,” Ruaro revealed. “I promised myself if I’m going to fight for this case, I’m going to do it right.”
Ruaro said the photos she posted show only half the damage done to her. “The internal wounds keep me up at night, while my abuser is still running free,” she shared, going into detail on the different kinds of abuse she says she experienced. “Time and time again, I was made to feel everything was my fault. That if he treated me badly, it was because I deserved it. That every time I reacted negatively to his abuse, it was a result of my PTSD [Post-traumatic stress disorder] and not the abuse itself.”
We tried getting in touch with Adoro but he has yet to reply.
Some people have told me not to dwell and just move on. Some people have suggested that exposing his name to the public will bring me instant gratification. Some people think it's my fault because I stayed, kept silent, and enabled him... I promised myself if I'm going to fight for this case, I'm going to do it right. The series of photos posted are just half of the damage done to my body. The internal wounds keep me up night, while my abuser is still running free. Time and time again, I was made to feel everything was my fault. That if he treated me badly, it was because I deserved it. That everytime I reacted negatively to his abuse, it was a result of my PTSD and not the abuse itself. He used my weaknesses against me, brainwashing me into believing no one will ever understand me like he does. He asked me several times to quit my career and just devote my life to him. He said we have dreams to fulfill, and don't I ever leave or he will commit suicide. I wasn't allowed to leave the room, even if he broke things in front of me with his hands. I was isolated from my friends and family, and the only chance I'd get to see people was if I needed to be at work. And that was just the beginning. I am healing and processing; it doesn't just end when you walk out the door. My self is my top priority now. My faith, family, and friends are what keep me strong, especially during days when I get the sense that all hope is lost. I am very very afraid, but I won't be silenced by the fear he has instilled. Not this time. I will make sure justice is served. Thank you to all those who have been there for me through these trying times. I wouldn't know what to do without you guys 🖤 Maraming salamat sainyo.
Pattern of abuse
A few days after Ruaro came out with her story, singer Syd Hartha, who is Adoro’s daughter, came out with her own post, seemingly confirming Ruaro’s allegations. In a post from her personal Facebook account, the YouTube star shared her own story of abuse along with screencaps of conversations with her father and with Ruaro. Writing mostly in Filipino, she shared that the musician would hit her, and she was subjected to intense victim blaming.
In the 15 years that she said her father wasn’t there for her, she had a lot of questions about the man she called Makoy. “Wala na akong ibang ginusto kungdi makilala yung iba ko pang mga kadugo, at siyempre, malaman ang pakiramdam na makasama siyang sinasabi nilang tunay kong ama,” the young lady wrote. “Sa halos isang taong, madalas ko siyang nakakausap at nakakasama, nabigyan na ng kasagutan lahat ng bitbit kong katanungan noon.”
Syd Hartha said she will not forget all that she has experienced with him during that time. “Kaya pala ako nilalayo ng nanay ko at iba pang mga kamaganak ko sa kanya. Kaya pala,” she said. Still, despite her father’s grievances against her and her loved ones, she said she believed he can make up for everything. “Masyado akong naniwala. masyado ko siyang tiniis pero sa totoo lang, ’di ko rin masisisi sarili ko kasi matagal ko nang hinintay yun eh.” She said that she was so hungry for love and attention that she forgot to take care of herself.
The screencaps Syd Hartha shared were particularly unnerving. In one, Adoro says that in the event she gets raped, she will not be able to do anything about it, that she will like the experience and that she might even become her rapist’s fuck buddy. In another, he demands that he unblocks him from her account or he will kill her.
When news broke out, some names from the local music industry started chiming in about the controversy. Former Put3ska vocalist Skarlet Brown vehemently demanded that the accused come out in the open. “Do not protect abusers. Ilabas niyo na yang musikero na yan,” she wrote on Facebook, “Dapat siya ilabas ng mga tumutulong sa kanya magtago.” The singer added that his former band mates in Eraserheads should make a statement now, and that any delay would be deemed as apathy.
Meanwhile, the only statement that came from Eraserheads was from frontman Ely Buendia, but it was only to deny that a quote attributed to him that made the rounds online, where he makes comments on Marcus’s character, was his. The Instagram post has been taken down.
Generation frontman Kowboy Santos, the son of rock icon Sampaguita, wrote on his Facebook account that having an abusive parent as a celebrity—and speaking out about it—takes courage. “First of all, you have to deal with the people who will instantly hate you for taking their idol off their pedestal. Then you have all the people telling you that you should accept the abuse because ‘magulang mo yan eh,’ or ‘nagpapasikat lang yan,’” he said. “What they don’t understand is that you sacrificed your entire childhood for a few songs that everyone likes. Most likely neglected, and probably abused in one way or another.”
While not mentioning names, Santos added that children of the famous have to compete for attention from such a young age until they reach adulthood because “it is never about you, it’s always about them...Fame is a bitch. Some can balance their superstardom and family life—but not when drugs are in the mix, which, unfortunately, is usually the case in rock ‘n’ roll. Hearing what is happening now, and seeing people react towards it, looking for context, tells me we are a long way off from understanding this unique position that children of celebrities didn’t choose to be part of.”
Brainwashed and blackmailed
Ruaro said that her abuser used her weakness against her, making her believe that no one will understand her the way he does. “He asked me several times to quit my career and just devote my life to him,” she alleged. “He said we have dreams to fulfill, and don’t I ever leave or he will commit suicide. I wasn’t allowed to leave the room, even if he broke things in front of me with his hands.”
The In The Dark star shared that she was isolated from friends and family, and that the only time she gets to see other people was when she was at work. “And that was just the beginning. I am healing and processing; it doesn’t just end when you walk out the door. My self is my top priority now. My faith, family, and friends are what keep me strong, especially during days when I get the sense that all hope is lost,” Ruaro wrote.
“I am very, very afraid, but I won’t be silenced by the fear he has instilled. Not this time. I will make sure justice is served.”
Syd Hartha, for her part, said she tried several times to stay away from her father. “Pero ang galing niyang makuha ako pabalik.”
According to the young artist, her father had physically hurt her in more than one occasion, banging her head to a wall even in the presence of her friends, and when her mother is not looking. “I never realized then na I might be interrupting his karma. I should’ve done better, but I know I tried to help myself as much as I could,” Syd Hartha wrote. Until now, she said she carries around the fear that the abuse might happen again to her or to others.
“Sana magsilbi itong gabay sa lahat. This monster could be anywhere now doing who else knows what,” she warned. “Let’s watch out for each other.”