Trip Start Sep 21, 2007
Trip End Apr 10, 2009

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Flag of Philippines  ,
Monday, September 1, 2008

Hello everybody,
I don't have very good news I am afraid. I was robbed of my small daypack two days ago in Manila in the Philippines...
I befriended a Japanese guy and we went exploring the fortress in the old town of Manila. He suggested to go to the Quiapo Church after that, on the other side of the Pasig River, something which was on my itinerary as well. So we walked there together. We sat down in the busy church on one of the many benches. He said he was going to have a look at the altar and left his belongings with me. When he came back I said I wanted to have a look as well and left my daypack with him. Within 30 seconds I returned but the "Japanese" guy was gone, as was my daypack... :'-(
After looking for the guy for about 10 minutes I went straight to the police. From the local police I was brought to the Manila Police Headquarters, where the General Assignment Department worked on my case. First they had me assist into make a sketch of the suspect. After that my story and my loss was registered and put into a police report.
Apart from feeling very stupid I also felt very sad because of all the things I had lost at that moment: my laptop, my new digital camera, my wallet containing quite a bit of cash, two credit cards and my ATM card (amongst other things), my written diary (in which I wrote until I bought my laptop), and many smaller things, like usb sticks, memory cards, etc. Furthermore I have lost all my pictures of Japan, and lots of other personal stuff. I uploaded my digital diary to my e-mail the last time early August, so I also lost about 3 weeks of my diary there. The personal, non-replaceable items I am the saddest and the angriest about.
As you might imagine, right now I have lost all appetite in travelling and especially in the Philippines. Yesterday my girlfriend Peony took the day off from work to comfort me as we spoke hours and hours online on MSN. This made me forget about what happened the day before quite a bit. If it is even possible, it made me fall in love with Peony even more! :-P
Right now I am waiting for my new passport (which I applied for the day before the robbery - I also still have my old one), a new ATM card to produced and sent to me and the same for a credit card. After I get my new passport I will apply for a new Chinese visa as well. Luckily I had enough money in my money belt to last me for a while.
In the meantime I am stuck in Manila. I am planning to make the best of it and one of my plans is to try to learn (a little) Mandarin Chinese...
I will keep you posted as there are new developments - or when I have definite new travel plans.
Everybody take care!
By the way, since early June my cellphone didn't work anymore, but it works again in the Philippines, in case anyone feels the urge to text message me... :-)
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starlagurl on

It's so terrible to know that people like this exist. It's hard to strike that balance between trusting everyone and trusting no one, isn't it?

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

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