from the blog.

Laglag Barya Gang Modus

I just wrote my entry for a mobile phone contest. Because of this, I recalled a lot of things and want to share a few of them.

This is not an entry to that contest. This is something beneficial for everyone. It’s how I lost my phone and how it happened. And I hope this does not happen to you.

I had wanted to blog about this back then but recalling the experience just gets me so pissed off. It just makes me feel so bad.

But it’s been two years so here it goes.

I got on the jeepney that morning with earphones in my ears listening to Filipino 90’s band POT. The Jeepney was almost full but I got in anyway. Two guys even forced themselves apart so that I can sit between them. This was very unusual of me since I am picky about the jeepneys I ride. If I’m not in a hurry, I’ll wait for a jeepney with less passengers. It’s the same fare anyway, I’ll go for the more comfy ride. But this time it’s different.

On one of the street intersections, one passenger got off. Then as the jeepney got accross the street corner and all attention still directed at the man who got off, the person to my right “accidentally” dropped a coin. Being the good Samaritan I’m trying to be, I bent down and got it for him. I felt him slightly hitting/tapping my leg. I was confused and preoccupied and I didn’t know what to make of it.

When I got up to hand the coin to guy who “dropped” it, the music playing in my ears stopped. I reached in my pocket (in an extremely bad stroke of luck, I was wearing pants with shallow pockets that day) and found that my phone was gone. I tried to remain calm but was obviously shaken. I quickly drew the attention of everyone in that packed jeepney.

The guy to my left quickly blurted that it was probably the man who got off before the street corner. The guy on my right (the coin dropper) quickly corroborated the claim. Very unusual thing to happen for total strangers. It could not have been the guy who got off. He was sitting adjacent of me. And I can still hear music from my phone after he was off the jeep.

Then I noticed that the guy on my left had a backpack on his lap with nothing in it but his hand that he wont move. I asked to see his hand but he just pointed and pointed at the other guy. Everyone was looking at us intently at this point. Though no one wanted to do anything. When I was pressuring the guy on my left (with the bag), he called on to the driver to get off. And seemingly automatic, the guy on my rght (the coin guy) got off too. As if they were with each other.

I got off and confronted the guy with the bag to show me his bag. I could not do anything more. No one was on the streets since this was early morning. And these two men were huge. The coin guy looked like he was pulling out something (a weapon?) too. After they “cornered” and they just complained that I shouldn’t bug them and then they walked away.

I was dumbofound the very least. It’s like a fire or an earthquake, people know what to do – but when it’s right there in front of you, panic ensues. I didn’t panic. I was just in a state of shock then. I had not choice but to let everything go.

That P1i hurt. I’m not a rich guy. I saved up for four months to buy that phone. I only used it for three. I never even got to try the 3G video call feature. And with the other phone I lost, I cared more about the SIM. I was using that SIM card for six years (2002-2008). I was using it since high school and through college. It had precious contacts that I will not be able to retrieve.


Do not be a Good Samaritan. If someone drops their coin, let them pick it up. Never involve yourself in a stranger’s business unless it’s a matter of grave danger or life and death.

Do not wear shallow-pocketed pants.

Always secure you belongings at all times when leaving the house.

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1 Comment

  1. I’ve been a victim too of this laglag barya gang, it happened somewhere in Abad Santos, Manila.. Yeah, they’ve stolen my cellphone, huhu… Good thing you’ve posted this so others will be aware..