Snatching in Manila

Snatching in Manila

I was on my way home earlier today from my evening class in UST when my guy seatmate inside the jeepney had his head cap snatched by someone outside the jeepney. It was across SM San Lazaro around 9:20pm. At the same time the snatching happened, I was holding my iPhone. I felt lucky it wasn’t me. At the same time, it seemed absurd that a simple cap will be snatched! The guy beside me was with his girlfriend, and it took him some time if he’ll let his cap be gone, or follow the snatcher. He ended up deciding to follow the snatcher… with his girlfriend. Oh, why is that?

  • Was it the man’s ego? “Oh, my girl friend is with me. I should show her I’m man enough to fight for my cap.”
  • Was it the cap’s value? “This cap costs too much! It’s original!” or “My girlfriend gave this to me. It’s very important.”
  • Was it to give the snatcher some lesson? “F*ck you! I’m not letting you go of what you did. I’m fighting back for my rights as an owner of this cap, and I’m not letting you go without learning some lesson about good morals and right conduct.”

But really, it’s not about the guy’s reason on deciding to follow the snatcher. It’s about the snatcher’s reason on having to snatch a… cap. Common things I know these snatchers aim are gadgets, jewelries and bags (when they assume the bag has loads of money). But what could be a good reason for snatchers on having to target a cap? Was that a practice for the real snatching target? Eh. Crazy.

Personally, I’ve experienced being snatched in Manila area already. First one was back in my elementary days. I was wearing a dangling gold earrings my father gave me from Saudi. I was on my way to school. As I hop inside the jeepney, I felt someone lightly touched my earrings. As I sat inside, I wondered who was that. I actually even felt maybe it’s a friend who’s trying to kid me. But then, I realized, I no longer have my earrings with me. No one noticed. Neither I didn’t feel. From then on, I stopped wearing jewelries, and has not become a fan of jewelries ever since the incident happened. This happened in Peñalosa Street in Tondo, Manila. The corner of that street and Nicodemus Street is a stop over of jeepneys so until now, it’s a place I keep on coming back. It’s a memorable place indeed.

Second experience was when I was on my way home from school. It was still Mapua Institute of Technology – High School in Doroteo Jose Street in Sta. Cruz, Manila during that time. I was waiting for a jeepney as I stand along Rizal Avenue just near the same Dorote Jose Street when I felt my backpack’s zipper moving. I looked behind me and I saw that someone was startled for me looking. The guy who was around 13 to 18 years old looked down, which I did as well, and I saw my PHP 100 on the floor. The guy ran away in an attempt to escape. Then, I picked my money on the floor. I’m not sure if anyone saw what happened, but I felt lucky during that time. I was glad there was no knife or gun that was pointed on me. I then took my best to immediately ride a jeepney to home.

Well, it just so happened that I’m living in Manila, but snatching can happen everywhere.

I think these are some important things to take note to avoid getting snatched when commuting in Manila:

  • Put your bag in front of you
  • Avoid using your phone in public places
  • Avoid wearing jewelries in public places
  • Just bring enough cash that you’ll use for the day (will help you save too)
  • Stay alert
  • Never trust anybody you don’t know
  • Pray that you will be safe
  • ..and be thankful that you are

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