Miguel Braganza mugged at gunpoint on same day his ‘Sandiwa’ show opened

‘I thank God I wasn’t shot.’ The FilAm Photo

By Cristina DC Pastor

Theater actor, director and “Miss Saigon” alum Miguel Braganza was attacked outside his apartment on August 7, the same day his “Sandiwa: A journey of song and dance” concert opened at the Philippine Center.

“I was mugged at gunpoint, and I was hit with a gun,” Braganza said when contacted by The FilAm. He shared a video showing his bloody head and neighbors coming to offer help. He said a witness took the video using his cell phone.

He said he was coming home to his apartment in the quiet Fort Tryon neighborhood at around 1 a.m. on August 7. When he got out of his Uber ride, he said two black men jumped on him like in an ambush and one of them began to strike his head with a gun. He was already in front of his building.

“Two black men attacked…but only one attacked me,” he said. “The other guy was on the street.”

He was so scared his muggers might pull the trigger, he hollered for help. When neighbors were alerted, the suspects ran away. The police arrived shortly after. The video shows a neighbor offering Braganza a towel for his head dripping with blood. “I lost so much blood from the wound.”

He was taken to the emergency room of New York-Presbyterian Hospital and discharged after several hours because “Sandiwa” was having its presentation at the Philippine Consulate that same evening.  “I told my doctor to release me because of the show. I was able to catch the second part,” he said.

Braganza believed the incident was a robbery attempt. However, he is not ruling out the attack may have been triggered by his Asian ethnicity. “It is more of attempted robbery, a bit of Asian hate,” he said.

Braganza was in the original cast of “Miss Saigon.” He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from Silliman University in the Philippines. He was a recipient of the 1987 Walter Terry Memorial Scholarship for Dance and Choreography from Harvard University.  While the  Braganzas are originally from Pangasinan, Miguel was born in Davao, grew up in Zamboanga del Sur and spent most of his teenage years in Dumaguete City. He conducts dance and musical theatre workshops for children and teens in New York and Beijing.

He said he was thankful that he survived the attack. “Thank God hindi ako binaril,” he said.

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