Thursday, October 4, 2012

Be Careful When Taking Pictures in Public

Scary experience just an hour ago. I usually take a bus/taxi from Buendia to get to work in Ayala. This morning, a group of 10 or so men began to pound on the windows and doors of the bus I was riding. They were pointing at someone inside the bus. I heard them cursing. It sounded like the door was about to break. The bus couldn't leave because more men blocked its way outside.

The worst part is that the bus driver decided to open the door. The men rushed in, shoving me and a couple of other passengers out of the way. The men stopped before a man, who was texting with his cellphone. They shouted at him "Anong pinicturan mo? Sino ka?" ("What did you take a picture of? Who are you?").

They yanked a lady passengers out of the seats so that they could get to the man. "Ibigay mo yung picture!" ("Give us the pictures!") They demanded.

The helpless man responded, "Sino ba kayo? Hindi ko kayo kilala." But the men had already taken his phone and were about to drag him out, perhaps with the intent to beat him up...or worse.

But then they found that the man's phone didn't have a camera. The group of men who had stormed the bus quickly retreated and scattered. I didn't see where they went.

I was shaking. I thought that the men were going to declare a hold up. It's good that I don't use my phone much in public. A similar event also happened to my uncle, who had been taking pictures in a resort some ten years back. A stranger confiscated his camera and took the film, but found nothing there. Said man has been tracking my uncle for years and harassing him, before he finally became convinced that my uncle hadn't been taking pictures of him.
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