Oh what a night! After a great sunny day at The Karancho Resort of boating, island hopping, and eating at a floating restaurant with Jeff’s family, I decided to forget my backpack on the seat of the tricycle.
I rode with Jeff and his dad on the tricycle to the Lapu-Lapu Statue in Mactan, Cebu. I was carrying my Dakine Backpack on one shoulder and set it down beside me in the tricycle because I was carrying my wet clothes and a towel. Jeff and I sat inside and his dad rode with the driver on the back of the motor bike. When we got to our destination at the Lapu-Lapu Statue, I was the first to get off without thinking of looking back to double check if I had forgotten anything. After about 15 minutes of walking around the site, I realized something was missing…
Oh great I thought, Jeff is going to kill me. There is no way I am ever getting any belongings back in the Philippines! My backpack could have been anywhere between The Karancho Resort and the Lapu-Lapu Statue. The distance apart was about a 10 minute tricycle ride and the driver could have driven out of his course. Tricycle drivers are usually assigned to a Barangy (neighborhood) and they usually prefer taking passengers around that area. Sometimes they decide to go off course for more money, but a tricycle can only go so far.
Right away Jeff and I grabbed a taxi back to The Karancho Resort. We left his dad at the Lapu-Lapu Statue site and small market area. The taxi driver was very kind and helped us try to figure out where the driver could have gone. Luckily, the area of Mactan is small, so in most cases, everyone knows everyone.
We parked at the front of The Karancho Resort and saw the family who helped us today during our island tour. We all told them what was going on and all of them plus our driver helped me out by asking around the neighborhood if they know of a tricycle driver with a broad build wearing a black shirt, and driving a red tricycle. Soon enough we had more locals in the neighborhood helping us out. It was the closest thing to an adventurous and exciting day by helping Filipino-American’s with broken Tagalog find their backpack.
During all of the chaos, I was very calm and didn’t care about the money, my credit cards, or my IDs. All I wanted was my camera. I took a weeks worth of footage in that tiny camera full of memorable moments of our trip. I wanted that camera badly, so if the whole neighborhood could help, the merrier.
Finally, after 30 minutes asking around one of the locals said, “Kilala ko yun!” (I know who that is!) The man told us he knew where the tricycles are parked and could take us there. So all of us took the taxi and about 3 tricycles filled with locals who wanted to help. It was like a great foreign adventure next to our experience in the tragic Typhoon Ondoy. We drove to his house and found his tricycle parked there. Woohoo! Jackpot! Everyone scurries out of the tricycles and the taxi making so much noise we wake up the whole neighborhood. Turns out he wasn’t there. Then some people came out of that neighborhood and said, “Pumunta siya sa bahay” (He went home). So we all scurry back into our modes of transport and hurry off to his house. Finally, the man I was looking for comes out of his house from all of the noise and commotion carrying exactly what I was looking for. My small, gray, Dakine backpack. I thought to myself, I hope he gives it up without a fight. I walked towards him and everyone surrounded us waiting to hear and see what happens.
Luckily, he didn’t make a fuss and said to me, “Hindi ko gumawa ng anumang, pero bigyan ako ng isang bagay sa pagbabalik” (I did not take anything, but give me something for returning it). I bowed to him with great pleasure and gave him 300 pesos ($6 US Dollars). Everyone around me was happy and clapped for joy. I quickly checked my bag to make sure everything was there and grabbed as much money as I had in my wallet for everyone who helped us. It was like Santa had come to the neighborhood bearing gifts and I was him. Everyone lined up in front of me to wait for their shares. I gave about a total of $20 US Dollars. Not a bad price for loosing something in a foreign country and having complete strangers help you out along the way.
After that exciting event, it was proof that Filipinos are generally very kind, helpful, and genuine.