Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hold Up I'to

It's been a month since I've posted. Lost of things going on right now, and I have not been able to get post. No excuses. But I do. PLDT. The internet connection has been so unstable that I refused to surf the net with so many problems and irritations. Instead, I concentrated on emails. Then there's the business I just opened. Finally. Whoa, so much red tape here in the Philippines. So that has kept me really busy. But now that we have opened up, I should be free to come online to do more posts. And PLDT said that they would restore "stability" with their internet connection by the end of the month. Whatever that means...

Hold Up I'to. I thought I would never hear those words in a real setting. But I did. Yesterday, early morning. Two of my friends and I were walking waiting and looking for a cab, and 7 to 9 guys bum-rushed us from behind; neckhold, three guys grabbed me. They got my money. My cards. My cell phone. My cell phone. Waaaah! My contact numbers. My blackberry. Oh well, the cellphone can be replaced. But my numbers. Damn! Karma? My friends wallet and cellphone. And my other friend's cellphone. All in all, about 50K worth in cash and valuables.

As a filam, my parents and friends and relatives and everyone I meet here tell me that bad things happen here, and I better be careful. I am cognizant of my surroundings all the time. When I picked up my friend at his place, with a cab, I even texted him the information of the taxi and the description of the cab driver, since I was not familiar with that area. But at the end of the night, it was going to be a bunch of scumbags that would take advantage of us.

It happened in less than ten seconds. We were bumrushed from behind. One held me on my neck, while someone else held my hands. Another searched my pockets. Same thing happened to my friends. I tensed, then relaxed, as I remembered people telling me not to react violently, but to give in. Life. Life. Life. That's all I could think about for the moment. it happened in less than ten seconds.

Then after they let us go; one of my friends actually chased after them as they all dispersed. To make a long story short, he was able to chase after two of them into a subdivision. The two went into a house, and the people in that subdivision were warned. They called the police, and they found two of them hiding under a covered table.

I did not see this part, as my other friend and I already took a cab back to our other friends to organize help, make phone calls. Our other friend went to the station with the barangay tanods.

To make a long story short...

I experienced a whole new world. The tough, the brave, the fearsome. The evil, the bad the ugly. Red tape with the police department (this will take three posts to complete). We went to four police stations because of jurisdiction problems. Hold up happened at 430 am. We were done with the police at 4 pm. Whoa!!! Almost 12 hours. Makati, Manila, Pasay Police were all involved. Issues. Even the cops did not know the right jurisdiction. They almost ruined the case because of jurisdiction issues.

Here's the scary part: we were forced to ride with the two hold uppers inside the police car. They were right behind us in the back seat. But there was no glass case or bars to separate us; so they could just put their hands around our necks again. At least one Tanod sat with them.

Then there are the wives of the two. Begging. Crying. Pleading. I have a soft heart for them. But I also have justice and fairness in mind.

Then there are the two thieves. Hold up. Aggravated Assault. Begging. Pleading. For their wives and their family.

Then there were the cops who wanted me to beat them up. I was not up to it. That would not be tolerated in the US.

Then there's the cops who hit and push them. My friends said that was culture here. Cops will do that to hold uppers.

Then there were the people who said those people should have been beaten to near death. They were lucky they were not beaten that way.

Then there were people who said that those two muggers were actually goodlooking. Who robbed and assaulted even better looking guys. Ha ha. That kinda made me laugh.
Then there is the plea to pay. So we drop the case. Plea after plea. Cries. Begs. I did not know how to work the justice system here.

Then there was the Tanod saying that the cops might already be making deals with the wives and the thieves, as evident of the jurisdiction issues.

Four stations. We were made to point at the two suspects four times. We told our story four times.

So many more events. Just can't describe all of it here. My mind is so jumbled up. Cancel credit cards. ATM cards. Where are my contact numbers?

There are so many more consequences. Cancelled taping at GMA for one of my friends. He was supposed to be taping a show. My other friend was supposed to go out of town Sunday for his promotion. I was supposed to meet with business partners to plan for our clients arriving on Monday. And so on and so forth...

Lessons Learned.

Main Lesson: What doesn't kill me only makes me stronger!!!

Mabuhay ang Pinoy!


Cai said...

Wow. I'm Filam too, and now I'm scared to visit the Philippines. This isn't the first mugging story I've heard on the Pinoy blogosphere. Can't trust the cops there, too.

snglguy said...

Geez, sorry to read about your first mugging experience. And am sorrier to read about your experience with the local law enforcement agencies.

Those "pleading and begging wives" and sob stories? You'd be surprised at how many times they've done that before, it's their back-up plan in case things go wrong.

anyways, glad to see you back blogging, dude.

utakgago said...

Dunno if those hold-uppers are to blame, or not. But well, your life's more important than your cellphone.


Daan! Nice post, and good thing you're back!

Wil said...

hey, vegas, what a horrifying experience. good to hear you made it out alive. 50K in cash/valuables? Is that dollars or pesos. daytime or nighttime? anyway, try using a money belt, although they might steal your belt, also just to be sure. i try not to carry too much cash with me whenever i'm in the philippines. if it's late at night, i never go alone, although that didn't stop your muggers. i've never been mugged in the philippines....knock on wood. but we both know muggings can happen anywhere, even in the US. ingat ka dyan!

mschumey07 said...

There millions wallowing in despair here but they toil everyday even digging in the trash to earn an honest living. If those people can do it, why can't these men do it?

The police is no help either as they are more often than not, handlers of these hoodlums.

Abner M. Hornedo, M.D. said...

masasanay ka din sa pilipinas! grabe di ba? anyway ingat lang dude!

Maria said...

You know the sad thing? After being mugged, some people (like me) do not report it to the cops anymore because of the hassle. And nothing happens anyway. And yeah, I did not mourn the loss of my phone, I mourned the loss of my contact numbers.

pilimon said...

man.. you should have not dropped the case.. snglguy was right.. its part of their strategies and tactics.. betcha that dude is a drug addict and dont be surprise if his wife too.

im not judging them but im telling you i know.

BTW, do you understang tagalog? coz im already bleeding man. its so hiraP..

hehe.nice post.

and 1 more thing.. youre right, lot of bad apples in this basket but there are more good apples than bad. they may look bad but they are good (hehe.. like me..)

AL said...

It can be dangerous in Manila, yes.
In defence to Manila, I have lived there for 30 years and did not have 1 incident like you had. Manila is no different from New York or Bangkok or any big city. We just need to be careful and alert.

I am glad that you appreciate the Philippines (sometimes much more than pure filipinos I meet). Like Doc Abner said: Masasanay ka rin LOL