Thursday, June 25, 2009


IT IS FATHER'S DAY. I woke up early to take a solo hike for the trails of Sapangdaku and then climb Mount Babag afterwards. For that activity, I took an early morning ride in a public jitney from my home to the downtown area then transfer for another jitney to Guadalupe.

As the jitney cruised along M.J. Cuenco Avenue, the driver picked up one male passenger across Palma Street nearby the Cebu State College of Science and Technology campus. The guy wore a striped olive-green and yellow-green color combination shirt with a white collar and a pair of gray shorts. He also wore a light-brown ball cap and a white face towel is slung over his left shoulder.

He probably is in his middle 20s and is fair complexioned and measuring a height of about five-feet-and-five inches. From the look of his eyes, the guy needed a sleep and I could tell, by experience, that he is on “speed”, probably intoxicated with methamphetamines mixed with alcohol. I am an ex-cop and I thought him harmless. He took a seat nearest to the passageway while I was nearest to the driver.

Then at a short distance, as the jitney made a right turn to V. Gullas Street, the guy knocked on the jitney's plywood ceiling, signaling his intent to disembark. The jitney stopped but, instead of going for the exit, he took a knife from his waistline and announced a holdup. He was already covering half his face with the face towel.

His act caught me by surprise and it is my first time to experience this thing. He turned towards me and told me to mind my own affairs for he will have nothing to do with me and shifted his attention to the female passengers and forcefully asked of their cellphones. I was not afraid nor I was angry but I was alert and attentive in the way he held the knife – a cheap Made in China type with an orange PVC handle. The point is intentionally blunted.

He may have a knife but he was unstable and he showed fear as his heist took a longer time and he became impatient and threatened the female passenger across him with mock aggression. He now held the knife dagger-type fashion and demonstrated his purpose by waving the blade around. I advised him to take it easy. I was concerned with the matronly woman sitting so close beside him who was with a four-year old girl.

He became belligerent and shouted back at me to mind my own affairs whereby I shifted my weight and placed my backpack between me and him as a shield. He could have took notice of my defensive position plus my distance from him and shouted impatiently at the girl across and hand to him the cellphone ASAP. The girl melted and gave her cellphone without a whimper.

He stared angrily at me but I never blinked and he backpedaled to the jitney exit and asked apology before he went down to the asphalt pavement. What gall...damn! Another varmint getting away. Instinctively, I felt for a phantom gun inside my waistline but it is not there anymore. Lucky bastard! I could have blown him to smithereens. Nah. Leave him be. Leave him to those rouge cops-cum-vigilante on the prowl for varmints like him.

It hadn't turned ugly as I have heard and feared and I thanked my guardian angels that they always keep me from harm's way. As for the girl who lost her cellphone to that crazy bastard, don't worry, it's just a cellphone. Thank your guardian angels, as well. Your life is a gift, not just to you, but to those who depended upon you. Be still.

As I arrived at Guadalupe, I heard a Holy Mass at the Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu Parish. I prayed and gave thanks to Him that nobody got harmed, to include that robber of cellphones. I'm sure he is a father himself and just desperate to look for an income to feed his child.

Happy Father's Day.

Document done in OpenOffice 2.1 Writer.

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