Having recalled how my birthday went last year, an incident popped into my mind. Two days before, something terrible happened. I was on my way to the office when I got victimized by the “budol-budol” gang. I didn’t really know what these so-called creatures do until after that fearful encounter. The jeep hadn’t driven very far yet when the man seated in front of me told me I had spit on my left shoulder. Sure enough, when I looked, something gluey was there but it was clear so I think it was fake. Nevertheless, it was gross, and I was thinking, should I go back and change clothes? But I was considering the time, I’d be late if I did. The man got impatient with the way I reacted so he brushed the thing on my shoulder with his hand, smelled it, and with a disgusted look, told me it smelled awful. By then I was upset already and I got confused why this man was more worried than I am. Soon the others beside me, left and right, was complaining as well, that they had spit on them too and another one explaining that somebody from the jeep beside ours spew out at our direction. Then the man in front of me was practically hysterical now shouting orders and everything. That was when I realized something bad is about to happen to me because I have heard that these wicked people would stir commotion to put on their racket. He ordered me to get tissue and cologne from my bag, anything to get my hands off it, because I was clutching it tight against me. Anyway, to cut the story short, these bad people succeeded. I was looking at him trying to preclude what he was about to do never realizing that I was practically surrounded by his partners-in-crime, literally that is. In a matter of minutes, all five of them got off the jeep taking away my purse containing all my IDs and more or less 10,000 cash.
I was crying in confusion when they left until concerned passengers helped me. One of them was helpful enough and escorted me to a policeman. So we got off at the junction and there, I called my mom and dad. I had to go to the police station to file a report but I waited for my parents first, and thanks to the helpful passenger, he didn’t leave until they arrived. When mom arrived, she brought me a clean blouse so I could change. As for the blouse I was wearing, I threw it away.
I was really angry at that time but after I accomplished what I needed to do, I just dropped the whole thing off and charged it to experience. At this point, let me share a few pointers when one gets victimized by these gangs:
- Never fight back. In my case, I was so confused to struggle, but I thank God it went that way. You’ll never know who are with these people and the worst they could take from you is your life.
- If alone, try to tell a friend or relative first about what happened. It is also helpful in calming you down if they could get to where you are. Wait in a safe place.
- Seek help from policemen on duty. And though you seriously yearn to get justice, wait for your emotions to subside first before taking severe actions. I was told that these gangs are supported by a much powerful syndicate. Even if you could get one in jail, they could easily bail them out and who knows what revenge will be in store for you, especially if you were recognized by them (which is a very likely case). Still, it is advisable to go to the nearest police station to file a report.
- Try to recall, despite your confusion, the things that they have taken from you (if you were unaware). Take note of missing IDs, ATM cards, credit cards and other documents. You will need to include these details in the report most specially the IDs. It is important to indicate that you no longer possess them because these gangs might leave your IDs at a crime scene.
- Go directly to the banks where your ATM cards were opened. Even if you have no IDs with you, the bank personnel will accommodate you. They will immediately block the old ATM card and replace it with a new one.
- Do not forget also to report to your credit card companies that your card had been stolen so that they may block it instantly.
- Do not forget to thank God, of course, that nothing more harmful had happened to you. As I’ve said, the worst they could take from you is your life.
- When everything else had been settled, try to relax yourself by doing something that you really enjoy. In my case, my parents and I went to National Bookstore where I browsed books and other loves. That time, I was fascinated with craft arts, so I purchased a few scrapbooking items like the ones below =)
Do not forget also to inform your boss what happened if you could no longer report to the office. Back then, I asked my friend Ethel to tell the incident for me, and thanks to God she had been very helpful and comforting. Although it took only half of the day to accomplish all the necessary things, I decided to just stay at home for the rest of the day. I have to admit, I was traumatized by the experience that I no longer wanted to ride public jeeps afterwards. Eventually, the fear was replaced with extra vigilance. I was so concerned about catching the time that day I didn’t notice that I was already being followed.
Oh and lastly, be ready to retell the story over and over to concerned friends and co-workers. It actually helped me got over the situation quickly by doing so. Plus, it’s always comforting to know and feel that generally, people are still kind and they do care. =)