If you have spent any time driving in Manila, you will know that driving along C5, especially at night, is about as safe as dating one of Chavit Singson's mistresses while simultanouesly operating a drug ring in Davao. And if that is not bad enough, according to one Expat who shared her story with a Facebook group for Expats in Manila, these thugs have just levelled up,
As this is a closed Facebook group, I am sharing her ordeal here so that we can all be a lot more vigilant and so our authorities start taking things a lot more seriously. I would appreciate it if you could also help spread the word.
Dear Expats and local friends,
I have been happily living in the Philippines for the past 6 years with my family. Every time i'm driving and stop at the traffic light or in traffic, i never hesitate to roll down my window and give some cash or food to the beggars. Until last night! I was driving from Alabang going to Marikina at about 5pm, i was stuck in a heavy traffic along C5. The traffic was so heavy and we were not moving for about 2 hrs. Since i was driving alone and we were quiet far from the next gas station, I was scared of ever running out of gas (Although i had enough gas ) and the weather was cooler cause it was 7pm past and the place is full of trees, i wanted to enjoy some fresh air, so i turned off my A/C and rolled down the windows half way. I was in the middle lane, the place is quiet isolated, there are no people crossing the roads or around so i thought to myself that it was quiet safe. Out of nowhere appeared this cute boy about 14 or 15 years, he stood on the passenger side and he had the cutest smile ever, he started singing and clapping his hands asking for cash, i was moved away and reached my bag to get some money. Immediately another one appeared out no where on my side, pointed a knife in my head and ordered me to give my cellphone and wallet, shaken and scared i gave him everything and they both disappeared !!!
I managed to cancel all my cards, but all my IDs including DL are gone. Plus cash and smart phones! Well, this are just material things, am happy that am alive and healthy and that they didn't take my car.
But this turn of event made me reconsider my generosity towards street beggars, because now i know that some of them are not sincere, although am pretty sure that there are some honest ones out there and our NGO is here to cater for less fortunate families as much as we can. So from now on my financial support will be through our feeding programs and other charity events but not on the streets.
As a foreigner, when you first get here you are so moved with the level of poverty and street children and want to do everything in your power to help, but my advice to you all is that : NEVER roll down your windows to hand out cash to a beggar specially when you are driving alone. And NEVER drive with windows rolled down especially at night or in weird looking areas no matter how much you hate A/C and prefer natural fresh wind/breeze while driving like i do. This is my first horrible experience in the Philippines and i pray and hope that it will be the last, because me and my family love it here. And i hope that this will not happen to any of you.