We’ve all heard stories of how a friend of a friend was mugged in a cab, jeep, or bus, but can those stories prepare us for when we actually find ourselves in the same situation? In my experience, not really, not when you’re already right smack in the middle of it.
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On December 3, 2012, I found myself in a most distressing situation: inside a cab with two men declaring a hold-up. I had been on my way home that night and was supposed to take a bus when, out of the blue, I decided to hail a cab instead. Since I was already along EDSA anyway, I thought it might be easier to get one right there instead of waiting in line at a taxi stand. That was mistake number one.
I flagged down a cab, gave my directions, and climbed in the back seat despite it being so dark inside. That was mistake number two. As the driver sped along EDSA, I noticed a cockroach creeping toward me. After a surprised yelp, I politely told the driver that there was a cockroach inside the cab. By this time, I was already quite distressed, and a part of me just wanted to get out and hail another cab. After silently debating with myself, I decided to just endure the rest of the ride. That was mistake number three.
A few minutes later, another man jumped out from the passenger seat and I screamed. I stopped when they told me that they only wanted cash and that I wouldn’t be hurt if I complied. By then, the accomplice had already transferred over to the back to sit next to me. He took my mobile phone and my bag and told me to close my eyes.
As he rummaged through my things, I tried to think of a plan. None of the options I had in mind seemed feasible from my end, and I could tell that they were trying to distract me by threatening to kill me and by asking lots of disturbing questions. After maybe 30 to 45 minutes, they dropped me off at a bank in Fairview. Of course, the second guy accompanied me to it, and I was made to withdraw a bit of cash. Shortly after, it was all over.
This incident has been reported to the police, and it is unlikely that I'll forget about it soon. Being trapped inside that cab is possibly one of the most terrifying and surreal moments I’ve had in my life, and I’m grateful to still be alive. Every day, I pray that these men get caught, so they wouldn’t be able to victimize anyone again. Until that day comes, however, I’ve compiled a few things to watch out for when riding a cab: