Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Is it Becoming TOO Dangerous to Live in Angeles City?

I just arrived home to find my wife shaking, her face slack with the vestiges of extreme fear, and white as a ghost.... For the second time since we've lived here she got mugged... The first time was 3 years ago and it was a simple case of a purse snatching, no big deal; it just made her angry. This time it was different. When the business end of a gun is jammed hard into the side of your chest and you are told by a desperate hard-eyed character to hand over your purse or you're dead, it can ruin more than your day. Folks come to this site all the time to find out what its like to live here, well, this is also part of living here. Some would say it's just as bad in many places in the US and that's true, but I've never lived in those places... I just sent out an email to everyone I know in the Angeles City area to let them know what happened and to be forewarned and forearmed. Here's what I sent:

My wife was just mugged at gun point right in front of Savers Mall in the parking lot directly in front of the building itself... As soon as she unlocked the door to get out a man pushed a gun into her chest while she was still behind the wheel. He demanded her purse, which she gave up and off he went... She made a report to the police and to Savers Security, for all the good it will do... She let her guard down thinking that the presence of all the security immediately in front of the store would make her safe. Truthfully, this city is getting more and more out of control... It may be approaching unlivable, unless the mayor and his boys can get a handle on it. What makes it worse, is no one learns of these incidents. We cannot forget that AC is a VERY dangerous place, and gets more so everyday... Tell your wives and better halfs to have nothing in their purses that they cannot afford to lose... Carrying cell phones, valuable ID, credit cards and lots of cash is just plain boneheaded.... I suggest all women carry a "show purse" with a little money, fake IDs, etc, that they can hand over to muggers to get the mugging safely over with... This place is dangerous and we have to adjust our lives with this in mind... phil

25 comments:

watson said...

I'm sorry to hear about this, Phil. Crooks are really becoming more and more daring. I heard that they would once sneakily open car doors by picking. Now, they simply smash the side window.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Breaking into a car is one thing, pushing a gun barrel into your side is life-changing. Jail is not bad enough for someone who would do such a thing.

Sidney said...

Sad to hear about this. But not really surprised...

PhilippinesPhil said...

Yeah Sidney, it can happen anywhere in the world... My wife's 18 year old daughter was beaten up in Little Rock, Arkansas about 6 months ago when she tried to cash a check. The human condition sucks. It seems that "inhumane" is the true definition of humans.

Ed Abbey said...

That would scare me too. Before leaving for the RP, I always clean out my wallet of all but the essentials. During day trips out and around larger cities, I try to just carry a few pesos, a credit card that can be cancelled immediately, and leave everything else at home.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Yeah, you'd think my wife would know better after already having had her purse snatched once before, but nope, she lost a significant amount of money and a very expensive cell phone. Carrying anything but a few insignifant items is STUPID, but women do it here all the time... I don't even have a wallet. I have a friend who carries one in his hip pocket with nothing in it but a card that says "F**k You Thief!" He has had it ripped off several times since he's lived here while riding in jeepneys. He collects old wallets just for that purpose. Thiefs got NO reason.

Worse than that are murdering thieves. The year after I arrived, I got an emergency call to go to the PIH hospital because an American retiree had just been shot and needed my blood type. I rushed over but it was too late. He was shot in the thigh and had bled out. The shooter was a guy like the a-hole who stuckup my wife, only he stuck up this guy's girlfriend. He came rushing around his van when he heard her cry out and the surprised thief snapped off a round into his upper thigh. Typical of this place, no one lifted a hand to help, no matter how much she screamed. He tied a tourniquet around his own leg and his girlfriend helped him crawl his 6 foot plus frame and 230 odd pounds back into the van. The first hospital turned him away for lack of any emergency room doctors that could handle his wound. By the time he got to PIH it was too late. One day he's in my office and I'm helping him with his disability claims; exactly two weeks later I'm looking down at him layed out in his windowed coffin.

What is so frustrating is that no one is EVER apprehended for these type of crimes. Although, I must say the police are very practiced at framing tourists for statutory rape.

Amadeo said...

So sorry to hear about this and the past mugging, but as we all acknowledge this has become all too common there.

Now, in the countless times that I have returned to the old hometown, I and our party have never had any untoward incident so far. Except my missing by a few minutes being caught in a crossfire between a hold-up thug who decided to use our building as shelter and the "authorities" who started spraying the building with their AK-47s. Ironic, but thanks to the ugly traffic jam I got in that I got to the building late.

But stories like yours will now serve as wake-up calls for us that maybe next time, we won't be that lucky.

But as you said these could also happen in the best of places. And my wife's experiences are testimonies. In the over 20 years that she worked for a bank here, her office had been victimized in 5 hold-ups, mostly with guns pointed at her face.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Here's some info...She was just telling me that she saw these guys, two of them on one motorcycle, waiting just outside her van as she prepared to go inside the store. The guy with the gun was goodlooking and well dressed... she never supposed they were a threat. She said there might have been a chance to apprehend them if she had screamed immediately, but she was so shaken that she could not sum up the strength to yell for help. Now she is blaming herself for her moment of "weakness." Looks like she'll need some kind of tranquilizing agent to fall asleep tonight. She's displaying the classic symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress... She's so angry now that she is beside herself with rage...

Shoshana said...

That is very scarry. My MIL was held up at gone point too, in her own home. She had to move to a different house after.

I am very sorry to hear that.

Here I thought it's only when you're in Philippines that one have problem with purses and snatchers.

Shoshana said...

I guess this wouldn't be a good time to tag you?

I hope your wife is alright now? I hope they find her ID. I so hate replacing IDs after I lost it.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Hey Sho, I missed something, who is your MIL? I take it s/he is in the USA?

MOre news on the latest on the robbery situation. It turns out that there has been a rash of armed robberies over the last few weeks. One occurred on the third floor INSIDE of the Robinsons Mall. That one was by a man and a woman who grabbed a woman by her arms and also using a gun got pretty much everything on her.

Suggestion to folks considering retiring/living here, think about it again. The police seem to be unconcerned about it and the word on the street its getting worse and worse.

Check out also: The Margaritaville Site and Harry the Horse for what's new in Angeles City, Philippines

Shoshana said...

Phil, yes, my MIL lives in Dallas. I thought you meant LA, instead of Angeles. :)

niceheart said...

So sorry to hear about this. I have never been mugged nor had a gun pointed at me. It must be really traumatizing for her. I don't usually carry a lot of cash in my purse but I do always have my credit cards with me. I guess I should stop bringing all of those cards at the same time.

PhilippinesPhil said...

I've never had a gun pointed at me either, at least not where I could see it, pushed into my body like she did.

I think you'll be ok up there in Winnipeg. Looks like a very safe and sweet-natured place. But, when you come to this country its a different matter. No one is safe anywhere.

Although it was 21 years ago I was mugged here in 86. Four guys with knives and one of them slashed me up pretty good as I made good my escape. I've got a nice scar across my chest as a souvenier... I bled like a stuck pig!

Jules said...

you could always transfer to Bacolod City *wink*wink :D

PhilippinesPhil said...

Nope, don't think I will Jules, but your welcome to come to Angeles City and come see me... We can talk about it.

aurea said...

Wow... being robbed at gunpoint is scary, to say the least. Forget about the cash and cell phone - the important thing is that your wife is ok.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Think about it Aurea...no one is ever okay ever again once something like that happens. Rage and fear become a part of your life forever. If I were to catch the men, I would twist their arms off at the shoulders and beat them to death with them. THEN, I would forgive them! ...being a good Christian boy and all...

desmond adamson said...

Angeles is the biggest shithole that can be found. Why the fuck do you guys want to stay there? I spent more than 12 years of my life there and decided to leave before it was too late to do so. If I never see that cespit again in my entire life it will be too soon. Even the expats living there are not worth knowing. They are either full on paedofiles or just piss heads with no place to go. Take my advise and get your arses out of there and get e real life among real people.

desmond adamson said...

Phil. Did you expect the cops to do something about your problem? It was more than likely a cop that held your wife up in the first place. I hated those mother fuckers. Not worth knowing. Any of them. They are the most corrupt set of bastards in the whole of Asia.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Desmond. The name sounds English and so does your use of the language. I have kids and a wife here. I go to college here. I know some really decent people here; if you lived hereabouts, from the way you come off in your comments, I doubt that you would be one of them. I don't know any pedophiles. How is it that you do? Your language is foul; do you eat with that mouth? You sound like the very people you despise. You're not welcome here if you can't comment without using profanity. I really hope that you don't visit this site again.

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Anonymous said...

im planning to visit my friend in angeles city soon....but she told
me about foreign people who land up getting murdered on the street by robbers or by arguments between foreign people who have chatted up a filipino mans girl friend by mistake and paid a heavy price for it by getting killed..i was really looking forward to visiting angeles city but now im shit scared to go there....im travelling alone which i guess is even the worst thing to do....im in two minds whether to go there now...but my philipino friend will be very upset if i dont go there.

PhilippinesPhil said...

If you have local friends here you'll be fine. Keep your wits about you and stay off the streets at night. Watch for young men on motorcycles wearing full face helmets, especially when there are two to a bike. Keep in mind the law of the jungle, where predators always go after easy complacent prey first. Do not wear jewelry or expensive watches; do not call attention to yourself. Be respectful to everyone; don't give some drunken thug an excuse to be angry with you. Above all, stay close to your local Filipino friends and listen to their advice. You'll be fine.

Moon said...

I have been going to the Philippines every year since 1993. I used to go 2-3 times a year but now only once a year for the VFW Veterans Day get together. Angeles used to be OK but since the Koreans, and some Japanese, took it over its a cesspool of crime and corruption with the police leading it all. MY advice is Philippines has some great places to visit, Angeles is no longer one of them. Want to enjoy the PI, get the hell out of the Cesspools in order Angeles, Manila, Cebu and Baugaio. Chanches of getting hurt or killed in these places is extremely high. I love most of the Philippines and the Filipino people. I travel alone and have traveled all over the islands, to include Leyte, Samar, Bohol and Mindanao (stay away from southern part) to mention a few. I have also spent a lot of time "in the past" in the Cesspools mentioned above. Pretend those places have the plague and stay the hell away except for passing through only when you have to.

DaMoonDog