How many times have you received forwarded emails about the new modus operandi of some gang in the metro? Most of the time, you remind yourself to practice caution but you never even think that it could happen to you.
It happened to me in broad daylight earlier this morning.
After an easy run and weights at the gym, I headed towards my car in the parking lot. I dumped my gym bag in the trunk and took a moment to search for my wallet. As I was doing this, around four people surrounded me and the car. Before I could even think anything of it, a lady approached me almost frantically asking: Nasaan ang chinese restaurant dito? (Where is the chinese restaurant here?) I found it extremely odd because there was no Chinese restaurant near the area (and why would one look for one at around 9am) plus she was acting extremely nervous. This was all happening within a matter of seconds, but alarm bells already started ringing in my ear.
I answered her: Hindi ko alam (I don’t know) then headed towards the door of the driver’s seat. She blocked me and asked the same question over and over. By that time, I was pretty scared so I yelled at her: Hindi ko alam!!! and headed for the door again. When I looked ahead, a man had already opened the door of the passenger seat. I yelled at him: Hoy!!! He was taken aback, apologized (yes he did!), and shut the door. I rushed into the driver’s seat, locked all doors, checked if all my valuables were complete (they were thank God!) and drove away in haste. As I passed the parking lot, these people were nowhere in sight. I then called the security guard and reported the incident.
Wow. I was captivated in fear for the next few minutes. But, after I calmed down, I was ultimately thankful that no harm was done. It could have been a lot worse for me. In a split second, my life could’ve changed…or ended.
I write this to remind you about a number of things:
- to be careful out there—especially when you are running alone,
- to listen to your instincts. If you sense that something is amiss, then you’re probably right
- to be a bitch (pardon my French) or a bull or both if you feel you have to defend yourself (although if they’re just asking for your wallet just give in and let them go. No amount of money is worth your life), and lastly
- to be thankful for the blessings—big or small—that come your way. I’d like to think there was Someone watching over me earlier this morning.
Note: I won’t be sharing any details about exactly where this happened for security reasons, but I did report the incident and shared my story with others who frequent this area.