Monday, July 25, 2011

I Almost Got Held Up By Billy Jake UVA 709

It is my first time to arrive at NAIA 3 at midnight, on my own. I exchanged my last MOP21 for PhP100 at the Macau Airport because I only had PhP34 left and no more foreign currency. What I usually spend for the taxi ride from home to airport is around PhP120. That would suffice. I always take the white taxis outside the airport because I have this notion that the yellow ones inside are expensive, which my mother refuted. Anyway, a lesson had to be learned here, the hard way. I walked out of the airport.

There was a white taxi stationed by the roundabout. Technically, it was still within the confines of the airport. The driver waved at me. I asked him if he had a meter. He said YES. He opened the door and I took the back seat. He said that his companion is an airport employee who works at NAIA. He sat at the passenger seat in front. The driver pressed something where the meter would usually be located and then he zoomed away. I immediately asked him if his meter was broken and openly admitted that I only had PhP134. That is why I asked him if he had a meter for the simple reason that I only had that amount to pay him. He gave me a laminated card which said 600 - Pasay blah blah blah.

I asked him to stop the car and that I was getting off. I asked you clearly if you had a meter and you said yes. This is the meter.” He pointed at the card before giving me another one with dollar amounts in them. The car did not stop at all. He only stopped when we took a left turn at that dark area in front of the Air Force. I took out my coin purse and showed him the PhP134. He said I could pay by any other currency. I told him I did not have any other currency, which was the truth. The other guy kept on flashing an ID that I could barely read because of the darkness. He kept on doing that because I said I wanted to go back to the airport so we could talk to someone in charge there. The other guy said that I should just give my cellular phone or anything of value as collateral. He said I could claim it at the office the next day.

I grabbed the door handle and attempted to open the door. It would not budge. That was when I realized that the door was UNLOCKED. In short, the door only opened from the outside. The driver was getting irate and was already talking in a manner not usual for taxi drivers. He was sarcastic and semi-shouting. I was also at the point of flaring up. I was half asleep in the whole two hours of the flight. I had a long day. Before I boarded the plane, I was already thinking of what could probably go wrong when we land at NAIA. Customs? Immigration? Here was the answer.

I asked him to go on and bring me home and just stop by an ATM machine somewhere. Big no-no. DO NOT ever do this. I was not thinking straight. When we reached Skyway that was when I realized that I did have an ATM card but it only had PhP30. Baka murahin pa ko ng ATM pag nag attempt ako mag withdraw. That was when I started to call my brother. When the other guy figured out that I was on the phone he became agitated and warned me that the taxi would explode because I was near the tank and we were at Skyway. I did not bother to connect the dots anymore as to what mobile phones and Skyway have for them to explode when mixed. I stopped calling and told them to just drop me off at home and that someone will come to bring the money to complete the 600. The driver skipped the right turn and started shouting for me to make up my mind. They brought me all the way to Buendia - Pasay before going back to Makati again. The driver even told me that the rate is getting higher. I told him that the card indicated a fixed price per area.

My brother was already waiting for me when we finally arrived. I sent him an SMS to bring one of the guards with him but apparently he did not get the message soon enough. He gave me the PhP400+ with a bewildered look. The driver suddenly became nervous and it was quite obvious. He started asking for directions on how to get out of the building. I asked him for his companion’s name again and he said something inaudible. All I could catch was Ronald which was probably a fake name anyway. The driver did not even round the corner anymore. He just went on reverse and drove away as fast as he could.

My brother told me that I should have just given PhP100 and then walked away. He said those two would not have been able to do anything anyway. But they now know the building in which we live. I am just worried that if I did not give what they asked for they would come back another day to get even. It was only after I have talked with my mother did they make me realize that I could have been held up, killed, and dumped somewhere. It was only after all the commotion did I regain my sanity.

I do not know. I was really disoriented. All the signs were there: the other guy, the unlocked door that would not budge, the way the driver talked to me. My mother even scolded me for suggesting an ATM withdrawal. Of course. They would just ask you to withdraw all the money at gunpoint perhaps, although I did not see a gun. Or perhaps, it was hidden in the glove box along with a knife. Then the ATM machine would have FU’d all three of us, and I would have been left at the mercy of those two scumbags. This was the answer. This was what would go wrong upon arrival at Manila. And I think this is the reason why tourism in this country is not as successful as it is in others. Sa Airport pa lang konsumisyon na e.

It is just depressing. And once again I feel so stupid. So gullible. I never learn my lessons. I only do so after paying heavily in cash or in experience. I am alive. I guess that is the important part. From now on I will only be taking the yellow taxis from NAIA. I also want to slap myself for having two mobile phone batteries and not charging any of them before I boarded the plane. I could have recorded this discreetly and submitted it to some ABS-CBN or GMA public affairs show.

You have been warned, my friends. Please do not commit the same mistake. Always be alert. Do not travel alone if possible. And do not leave your common sense on the plane. Always bring it with you wherever you go. If someone could tell me how to report this to the LTO or what other step I could take, regardless how futile the attempt would be, please share the information with me. Thanks a lot, and I hope this does not happen to you. It is amazing what Filipinos do to other Filipinos here in Manila. I think this is my purpose in life, ang lokohin ng mga tao. How pathetically hopeless. This is not the first time this has happened to me. I just feel so down. FML.

35 creature/s gave a damn:

vin said...

oh my. my co-worker experienced the same thing from this taxi driver where he was charged at 900 from terminal 3 to makati. i've also read from a local newspaper about the taxi with the same plate # where a female passenger was harassed.

michymichymoo said...

I have a question though, why did you ride a cab with another person inside? Even if the cab driver would tell you that the other guy is Jesus Christ or somebody harmless, you shouldn't have gotten it in the first place.

ihcahieh said...

@michymichymoo - to tell you the truth I don't know what is wrong with me. When he told me that another guy was coming with us there were no red flags whatsoever on my part. This lack of alertness and common sense also baffles me. Maybe I was that sleepy or I just really wanted to get home that I didn't really care. Sa bahay ko na talaga na realize lahat ng mistakes.

@vin - Did your friend call the LTO or aything? I am trying to contact them now but no answer. A poster at Peyups gave me a number. Will try to see if I could get another number.

ihcahieh said...

@michymichymoo - now that you've mentioned it, I just thought that this would have helped had I been more alert. I got in first at the back seat before he informed me that the other guy was coming, and then they took the front seats. Had I refused I would have discovered earlier that the door doesn't open from the inside.

Arnel _92 said...

Don't beat yourself up over what you should've or shouldn't have done ... we can't always expect ourselves to know exactly what to do in these kinds of situation. Just use this experience to be more alert and street-smart next time you get into a taxi.

Since you got the body number I suggest you file a formal complaint with the LTO Hotline at 9219071 or the DOTC Action Center at 7890 just so the driver and/or owner will learn their lesson.

I wouldn't worry about them knowing where you live, chances are they'd be too worried about getting caught if they get back at you, especially if there is already an official report.

ihcahieh said...

Hi @Arnel_92 I will try calling this number. It's just that I've been feeling down since yesterday. Bad things like this always tend to happen to me in one form or another. Thanks for this extra information. =)

michymichymoo said...

Try to be more alert. Mind over matter. And forget about it. Just thank God they did not hurt you. :)

Elainski11 said...

Hi ihcahieh, glad that you're safe and that the scumbags did not harm you, that's the most important thing. Thank you also for sharing this, it makes us more aware of what's happening around us. Take care

ihcahieh said...

@michymichymoo - Thanks, would really do so from now on. I still cringe every time I think about the small things that could have been avoided had I been more alert. Anyway, you are right. Time to move on.

@Elainski11 - Thanks too. After reading vin's comment about his co-worker experiencing the same thing I've come to realize that I am not alone in this and that it could happen to anyone. I hope this blog entry serves as a warning for everyone. :)

Anonymous said...

this same thing happened to me last june 2011, one guy assited us to the taxi and so i thought he was the driver. when i entered the cab, i saw that there was already a driver inside. and then the guy who assisted us went inside the cab as well, but of course i asked why he was riding with us, driver said he'll just drop him off after the overpass. what made me so freaking mad about the taxi is that the airport guard even logged the taxi on his logbook only to find out he was an accomplice. kakainis talaga. we were both girls that time and arrived at around 1am, but the moment the second guy gave me the laminated tariff and did not turn on his meter, i just started being bitchy and raised my voice already ordering the driver to stop the cab even if we were in the middle of the overpass. then the 2nd guy even had the guts to ask us to just pay for the terminal fee, which of course i did not pay. screw those evil drivers. good thing that there was another taxi who followed us when he saw that the 2nd guy went inside the taxi. he later on told us that there were indeed some anomaly going on the taxi queue on the departure area. be safe everyone . ill share your blog ihcahieh if you dont mind :)

carlene

shegothim said...

buti na lang your safe sis.

ill also share your blog sa fb page ko.

ayan said...

eto talaga biggest problem sa Tourism natin. kakalapag pa lang ng foreigner ganito na agad ang sasalubong..eto isa sa pinakankakabadtrip kc kailangan mo pa mkpag-haggle when in the first place, may fare matrix naman... napakaswapang..
*what i do is, i take the airport coaster going to taft mrt. then i take a cab from there.
definitely, our Tourism heard of stories like these, gazillion times already. but still try to write them a letter about. and lets hope they could finally come up with something...
**completely agree with what your brother said. binigyan mo ng isandaan.. tas kunyari tawag kayo ng guard..tatakot din mga yon..

ihcahieh said...

@Anonymous - Buti dalawa kayo at may kasunod na taxi. Ako sa may tapat pa lang ng simbahan pinapara ko na siya ayaw talaga, pinaandar niya hanggang Resorts World tapos dun na siya naniningil na kesyo malulugi raw siya. Nakakainit ng ulo talaga. At talagang isang buwan lang ang pagitan ng incident natin. Ibig sabihin modus operandi talaga nila ito. Di kaya pareho tayo ng nasakyan?

@shegothim - Natawa naman ako sa "sis" hahaha. Please do share, para lang maikalat ang awareness at makahanap ng katapat ang mga walanghiyang driver na yan.

@ayan - True, won't argue with you on this one. I've also taken the coaster before but that was in the afternoon. Hindi ko na check kung meron ng gabi. The thing is mas takot ako pumara ng taxi sa EDSA lalo kung gabi. Ewan ko. From now on sa yellow taxi na ko kahit mas mahal.

Angel said...

Thanks for blogging about this, I shared to my page and my groups as well para maraming makaalam.

Glad you are safe.

Ed said...

ey, be safe! glad that nothing worse happened. Will share your story to others so thanks for posting!

Pinoy Adventurista said...

please don't tell that you were born para lokohin... let's just be vigilant next time and learn from what had happened... i'm sharing this to all my readers...thanks for the warning,,,

Pika said...

SCARY. whew

Anonymous said...

experienced the same thing.. sana mahuli na cla

Anonymous said...

Glad that you are okay. I agree Arnel_92, report it to LTO so this crime will be stopped. They will have the name of the owner and just might cancel the franchise.

Thank you for sharing this. Will be sharing this too.

Anonymous said...

Gesh. You are indeed stupid tsktsk.

ihcahieh said...

@Angel - thanks for sharing. Let's spread awareness!

@Ed - yep, ingat na ingat na talaga. Naiilang na nga ako sumakay ng taxi, lol. This wouldn't happen to me again. I'll make sure of that.

@Pinoy Adventurista - thanks for sharing din! Na depress lang talaga ako pero I am ok na. =)

@Pika - yes, scary na nakakabwiset. I hate being made helpless.

@Anonymous - kung hindi ikaw yung isa pang Anonymous na nag comment na nangyari rin ito sa kanya, ang dami pala natin!!! Grabe lang. Now I don't feel so alone.

@Anonymous - thanks. Nakatawag na ako sa LTO and I am preparing an e-mail complaint. My problem is I couldn't follow it up or appear there in person because I will be traveling until October. I think confrontation is necessary for a case to actually be filed. I'll think about it.

@Anonymous - I know, right.

Thanks for the words of support and for sharing this story, guys. I really appreciate it. =)

Anonymous said...

Oh no!

The same taxi was just on a news last month:

http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php/news/metro/7360-hunt-on-for-sex-maniac-cabbie

Malakas ang loob baka maulit pa ulit yan kapag hindi pa nahuli.

Paula said...

try calling 877-1109 and have them connect you to the airport police. you should report the incident to them. God bless.

ihcahieh said...

@Anonymous - Holy shit, IT IS THE SAME taxi. I wonder if it is the same driver. Ang kapal ng mukha ng hayop na yun kriminal pala talaga! Sana makapag-communicate ako sa iba pang nabiktima. Class suit na ito. Gago siya.

ihcahieh said...

@Paula - I will try to do this when I return next week. Thanks for the info.

marxtermind said...

Even yellow taxi nanggagantso din eh. Nakasakay ako once and the driver told us na kami na daw bahala and hindi sya nagmetro. :(

GREVY said...

you learned your lesson.
in the first place, sana di ka na sumakay after seeing another guy in the cab.. pero ok, since pagod ka sa flight i understand. be careful next time. minsan tayo rin ang may kasalanan sa mga nangyayaring masama sa atin e..

chino said...

katakot naman to..

ihcahieh said...

@chino - mas natakot ako nung nabasa ko yung article na last month lang may biniktima rin siya. Haka haka ko lang nung una na hoholdapin niya ko e, ngayon naniniwala ako na pwedeng pwede pala niya ginawa talaga.

@Grevy - oo nga, yun na rin siguro dahilan, although pinasakay lang niya yung kasama niya after ko sumakay. Still, dapat na alerto ako kahit paano pero hinde.

@marxtermind - nakakalungkot naman kung ganun. Parang wala na tayong choice kundi maglakad na lang, lol. Anyway pag may nanggancho sa kin na yellow cab isusumbong ko sa NAIA mismo. I think pwede sila i ban dun or something.

Earl (Suroy Pilipinas) said...

Thanks God you got home safe. I will share this post in my FB so as to warn other travelers.

ihcahieh said...

Thanks @Earl I just hope wala na siyang mabiktima pa, mukhang dumarami ata kami.

Micamyx said...

Ako i usually take the yellow taxi na from the airport. It's much better to pay extra kesa mag-regret later on. Be alert next time andun na lahat ng signs eh. Lesson learned :)

ihcahieh said...

@Micamyx - True. This week ko malalaman kung gaano siya kamahal. Sana naman wag ako abutin ng 200! =)

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

glad they ddnt hurt you at least. file a report nlng or probably even the plate is fake. how sad.
you're right, kaya mahirap turismo sa bansa naten eh, dahil sa mga abusadong mga cab driver.
but hey, its alright. don't blame urself. pagod ka cguro frm byahe kaya d ka nakapag-isip na ng maigi.it happens, madalas din mangyari saken ang ganyan. be safe next time! happy travels! =)

ihcahieh said...

@thepinaysolobackpacker - Ngayon ko lang naisip na posible ngang fake din yung plate number! Anyway, I already tried the yellow taxi. 70 ang flag down rate, 4 pesos kada patak ng metro. 180 pesos ako inabot, pwede na rin. Dagdag ako around 60 pesos lang from the usual. Safe pa. After one round of Rehab and California Gurls from the taxi radio asa bahay na ko, hehe. =)

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