I refused to yield to the knuckle in my back. The man behind me had a death grip on the metal frame of my bus seat. His knuckles angled so that whenever I tried to lean back, they ground directly into my spine. Each of the hundreds of times the bus hit a rut in the Philippine road, I bounced back into the sharp, jabbing hand. I felt like screaming -- at him, at the driver, at the world -- but could barely take a full breath in the stuffy bus. And we were only two hours into the eight-hour trip from Manila to Banaue.