"I am not here to convince, I am here to tell a story."
I will not talk about this beyond this entry. I actually planned not to 'publicize' this at all, but it seems that a lot of people mistake what happened for something else. Something that's really - ahm - unfair and hurtful. At least, that's how I see it.
Over the Holy Week, I lost my cellphone, not to mention a large part of my pride and has caused me extreme trauma resulting to sleepless nights. And, yeah, my gusto for blogging. I was afraid that if I start writing, I'd end up doing the unavoidable - of talking about what happened, and how it has greatly affected me; and how I started hating (again) people who should've done something (not because it has happened to me, but because it was their part to do something about it).
On April 1, Sunday at around 7:15 PM, my family and I were lodged at a private resort in Gubat, Sorsogon. I have lived practically half of my lifetime in Sorsogon. Since settling in Manila, I have always found ways to revitalize my lost self whenever I come back, and this was set in mind when we decided to spend our much awaited ten-day vacation by the beach as we've always done in the past years.
Ruth said it'll be different, the election blah-blah has caused problems with security. A few weeks before we went to Bicol, some human rights lawyer was shot dead in Gubat. She suggested that it'll be safer to stay in a more secure place, thus the resort option.
Anyway, at around that time, a guy, of about 16 to 25 years old, approached us from the shore; told us to be quiet and declared "hold-up". We were having a chit-chat with some family friends, the kids were playing some feet away, and I just got my cellphone out from the bag to check if anybody was persistent enough to trace me in my hibernation.
The next thing I know, a .38 pistol was shakily piercing on my right cheek and an arm was wrapped around my neck. Ruth became hysterical; Margot was plain shocked; Margarita was doing the "Waray" thing; and Mommy Rosing was looking at me blankly.
When the guy insisted for me to surrender my phone, I held the gun away from my face (In mind: If it was actually loaded, and he fires a shot, it'll be far from the face that I've been wearing for 27 years.) and started standing up (In mind: The offender was barely taller than I am and I can easily render a Jackie Chan flying kick while I firmly hold the gun away.) For 15 seconds, I was able to carefully profile the offender and formulate a master plan of defense - the fastest I've done ever in my entire life (and hopefully, the only instance I will ever be forced to).
I wasn't thinking about losing the phone, but more like losing the files in it (contacts, photos, word documents, e-books, etc...) After consistently holding the "HOLD-UP GIRL" throne for seven years now, as Kiko fondly calls it, I have grown to detach myself from material possessions.
When I was about to implement the master plan of beating the guy, I saw my youngest kid walk towards the whole scene, and all my defenses broke down. Later, I thought it was the best that has happened, since I didn't notice that the guy came with three back-ups, the other one grabbed Mommy Rosing's bag - filled with cash, sets of jewelries, car keys, and important documents. (After a few days, the bag was retrieved with everything still intact expect for the cash, jewelries, and oddly, two rosaries from Rome. Could it be that the Holy Week has made the crooks be more 'religious' and took the rosaries? Or was it the rhinestones that made them think it was worth something?)
To note the hilarious things that occurred after:
1. Mommy Rosing, about 89 years old, ran after the guy who took his bag and kept shouting "Ang lipstick ko!!! Ang bag!!!" and then, fainted. Sofia, my eldest kid, can perfectly re-enact this whole scene. She is such an actress.
2. I learned that there are two "mayors" in the town. (HAHA...) The other one was elected in public office, the other was just so damn pleased of bitching people around. I wonder why someone hasn't shut her mouth up. Tsk.
3. The guard at Duana's has several jobs, i.e. security and checking the water supply in the lodge. (The receptionist said that they asked the guard to get water, so he was nowhere in sight the whole time. Amusing.)
4. And nobody in Rizal Beach believed that it happened. (I am then accused of bashing the highest tourism revenue earner - if not the only one - of Gubat. Please, I won't get anything out of it.)
I appreciate the police escort after that, only - we felt jam-packed in a sedan every time they were around. I appreciate Mrs. Duana and her oh-so-fuckin'-yummy grandson for saying how sorry they were, only - that he didn't look so yummy at all after that. I appreciate the PNP's effort in finding the offenders, only to tell me after that pursuing the case would be fruitless since the suspects have "cuddlers" in the force. I appreciate the left-wing for expressing their interest in eliminating the suspects, only to ask a twenty-thousand-peso fee for everything. Please, eliminating criminals shouldn't be worth a single cent. And a new mobile phone of the same function couldn't be worth as much. I have been thinking if there's a connivance between the left-wing and the suspects. I appreciate Smart Wireless Center for giving me my old number back through SIM Replacement, only to realize that I was stuck in a far-away city where the costumer service notion of service is waiting in vain. (And that's when I missed Manila and how fast everything goes in my every whim.)
- People blame you for the bad things that you get yourself into, even those beyond your control.
Example:Kasi naglalabas ka ng ganoong phone sa mga ganoong lugar.
SO DAPAT SA BAHAY KA LANG GAGAMIT NG PHONE? Why else would you need a MOBILE phone then?
I did not "display" my phone, if that's what you meant. I took it out from my bag to check for messages. Displaying it was a mean accusation. Mobile phones are not materials of luxury that people are fond of flashing around like some fashion dog or what, it has functions beyond texting and calling (I hope you've figured that out.) I use mine to keep documents that I need to read and connect me to the web in places where shops are not available. And what do you mean by "ganoong cellphone"? So now, you are also blamed for what you can afford just because some people can't afford it? They should've worked their asses off. "Ganoong lugar", where could be a place more fit to use it? It could've happened to me even if I was just walking around Gateway or partying somewhere in Libis. It was just a case of a wrong place and time. Quit blaming me.
- People attribute crime incidence with development - of which, of what I failed to recognize.
Example:Part na iyan ng pag-unlad ng isang lugar. Kaya may mga magnanakaw, kasi may mga mayayaman.
First, I am not rich. I just don't see any point of wanting something that I cannot afford - and that doesn't mean having the most things that people believe you should have. I am just comfortable with what I have, and I don't envy the things that I don't. This is probably the best that I got at home: Be satisfied with what you have and stop wanting what you can't have. What you don't have, you don't probably need Being rich (or having the feel that you are) and being comfortable for what you have are two different things.
AND, that argument doesn't qualify as an excuse to tolerate criminals, otherwise, why work when you can just take it from someone else.
If that holds true, are we to say that the growing crime incidence in the Philippines is an indicator that we are progressing as a country? I deem not. Crime incidence is an indicator of poverty. The increasing level of insecurity among the poor has pushed them to rob and kill others.
- You should always be prepared for bad things than good ones.
I'd say that the almost two-month preparation that I had put for the vacation, including the daily itinerary was useless. I was prepared for all that was planned to happen. But the incident in DAY 1, made it all useless. I became more preoccupied with dealing with police papers, talking to people who are supposed to solve it and having nightmares of my children dying if I insisted on being Darna over the whole thing.
- Victims don't need sympathy, they want justice.
Oh well, I do.
Three days after the incident, the same gang hit another resort in the same beach. They took everything of worth from the guests. After two weeks, they did the same. The victim here were two policemen. The other's girlfriend was even held hostage after they resisted. (Yes, contrary to my initial assumption, the gun was indeed loaded.)
Solving this, could've helped Gubat boost its tourism industry. It isn't just one case. Hindi nagkataon lang.
Sincerely, I am thankful for Ronnel. He told me yesterday to take everything in stride and be more prepared of things like this to happen in the future. And that, I will be doing. He also told me to just think that I gave someone food for their table, iyon, hold-uper nga lang
When Nicol took a group of tourists test-driving the new Ford Ranger in Gubat, he was wise enough to request security escorts from DOT composed of 2 TMGs and 4 policemen from the PNP Regional Office. Too bad, common people who wish to relax in Rizal Beach cannot do that.
Mrs. Duana asked who the VIP was, Nicol answered that he didn't want to have another hold-up incident happen to one of his friends again. And the poor old lady was dumbfounded.
The trauma from the whole incident was hard to shake off - harder than I thought and expected. (I am thinking, if I have this much trauma for something as bad as this, why couldn't I feel the same over bad guys and bad relationships? Haha.)