I will always remember July 19, 2008 as the day when I first got victimized in a bus hold up in my thirty plus something of existence. And the immense irony of the whole thing, was that I was on my way to a GUN SHOW when it happened.
It all started like any of the hundreds, if not thousands of bus rides I have had over the years. I got on an airconditioned bus (“The Philippine Corinthian Liner” body number 1203) at the Ayala Avenue bus stop near the Makati Medical Center at around 3:30 pm, on my to the SM Megamall to attend the latest gun show.
‘The Hold up’
I was seated near the rear of the bus, loss in thought, staring outside the bus window, and didn’t notice anything unusual until the bus started going up overpass on the Ayala Avenue and EDSA intersection. It was then when I heard some commotion out front. I initially thought there was a fight out there, since I heard somebody curse in Tagalog.
A guy wearing a black baseball cap, white T-shirt and backpack started saying loudly as he was walking down the aisle, “Ilabas ninyo mga celphone ninyo! (Bring out all of your celphones!)”. It was then that I knew it was a hold up.
The b@st@rd was about 5’4″, looked like he was in his late 30s to early 40s. As he passed by my row, I saw him holding close to his left thigh a revolver. It looked like a stainless steel piece, and I couldn’t make out the make and caliber.
All the while the guy was pacing back and forth along the aisle, shouting and making threats to intimidate everyone. He kept saying, “Babarilin ko kayo! Wag kayo papalag! Putang ina ninyo walang lalaban, papatayin ko kayo! (I will shoot anybody here! Don’t anyone fight! If anybody fights, I will shoot him!)”.
There’s a bus stop at the Guadalupe MRT station, but he shouted at the driver to keep going, and not to stop. He even told the driver to stay in the middle lane. He was also constantly looking around, worried that somebody would wave or signal to a police outside of the bus.
I thought to myself, “Damn, I’m set to leave for a very good paying job abroad in a couple of weeks, and this had to happen to me NOW? No, I’m not going to do anything to hurt myself and lose my chances at that job.” I was determined to give away my celphone, and other things if need be, so I immediately thought of removing the SIM card from my phone.
I had time to do just that, before the guy reached my row. As he passed, he asked for my celphone angrily, and I gave it to him.
He then asked for my wallet. I didn’t comply right away, and since he was very preoccupied, he sort of forgot about it. Which is a good thing, since I had about P4.5k in my wallet at that time. Even better, was that I paid my Citibank card P6k before I got on the bus, money that would’ve otherwise been in danger.
But then, I don’t know how he knew, since my left hand was sort of hidden, he asked to give him my gold ring with a Jade stone. Again, I didn’t comply right away. He asked again, and I figured I don’t want to get on this jack@ss’ bad side, so I proceeded to just hand it over to him.
The celphone that I lost was a Sony Ericsson K850i, probably worth around P10k, and the gold ring with Jade stone was probably worth around P10k also.
‘The Brave girl’
After getting my things, he was sort of having problems with a girl on the front row who wouldn’t give her celphone. She had long hair, in her mid-twenties, a he kept shouting at her to give up her phone, but she said, “Barilin nyo na ako, Ma, pero di ko ibibigay ang celphone ko! (Shoot me if you want, but I won’t give up my celphone!)”.
It was then that I got more concerned, because I thought to myself, if this b@st@rd really shoots her, I can’t just stay here and let him get away with it. I’m going to have to try to think of doing something stupid, and hope the other male passengers do the same thing also.
He kept arguing with her, until at one point, the girl started crying hysterically. This infuriated the man even more, and since he was seated beside her on her left, he gave the girl a backfist using his right hand. After being hurt like that, the girl gave up her celphone.