this is the third time that my mobile phone almost got stolen. it’s been a different phone every time, a different thief, a different part of metro manila. but yep, the third time a thief got his hands on my phone and i got it back only out of SHEER DUMB LUCK.
the first time i was crossing bicutan intersection, and i don’t recall now why my phone was out and in my hand, but a man snatched it from me. i ran after him, of course. all my yelling caught the attention of these big, hulking men who joined the chase. the snatcher cursed at me and threw the phone back, rather than get beaten up should the dudes catch up with him.
the second time i was riding a jeep in cubao and caught the inexperienced thief with his hand in my bag. he wasn’t stealthy enough. i hit him over the head with my bag and called him a whoreson while exiting.
this third time, i was interspersing work-related text messages (coordinating a shoot, following up an article) and reading from an ebook (this is where print editions are less hazardous) while traversing the skyway. i figured the jeep was going too fast and there was no way for a thief to meander along the skyway route… snatchers generally don’t. BUT what they apparently do is wait at the junction of skyway and SLEX, and “attack” as the jeep is easing into SLEX. that part where the wall separating the highway from the train tracks is lowest, i guess. this bunch (three boys, maybe 16 or a little older) braved two lanes of traffic to get to where i was, snatched my phone, and hightailed it back across the same two lanes of traffic. i went after them, but i was always a step behind, and so frickin short that tiptoeing, with my arm stretched, i only brushed the head thief’s foot as he climbed the wall. but i saw his ugly face.
i was lucky that he dropped my phone. i was lucky the cars stopped during our mad dash. i was lucky that my jeep stopped, and that the driver was actually concerned and considerate enough to wait for me to get back on.
my three thoughts upon resuming my seat:
(1) thank god i didn’t wear heels today.
(2) it’s still on page 371. fancy that.
(3) two shoots today, and i wouldn’t have known the makeup artist needed to hitch with the editorial team if i hadn’t gotten the phone back. god, i’m so lucky.
luck, good and bad, comes in threes.