Time has changed. Nowhere is safe. Whether you are crossing the street from Hope or UECP going to Siensi Grace, Masuki or Hwa Ying, vigilance is a must. Especially for those who are commuting up to the wee hours of the night. With the recent crime now arising; kidnappings, the all new ‘hulidap’, and the ever mainstream hold-up Modus Operandi and many more. Telling people to be safe is not enough. Safety is not just a polite greeting you give to people. It is a combination of applied efforts. Thus, I bring you, how to fight bad guys with a STRAW.
Scene: Imagine walking along Pasay Rotonda at 1:00AM, alone. You notice someone has been following you since you got there. You brought your Iphone 6 with you. Heart raising, adrenaline rushing, instinct kicking in. It’s survival mode on. What do you do?
S- Stay calm. At this point, noticing danger approaching often scrambles our brain that keeps us from thinking straight. What valuables do you have with you? How much do you have with you? Is your bag secured? Be aware of yourself and belongings. Know what items can be taken from you in an instant, that is why it is always advisable to separate your money; bills and coins. Pack your Ipads or Iphones on the deepest part of your bags or put your bag in front.
T- Think of escape routes. Be aware of your surroundings. It is good that you notice an impending danger, also notice your environment. What route should you take or detour? Avoid dark alleys or unlit areas, always go where the light is. Seek refuge on open areas for a while, such as convenient stores or 24 hours fast food chains. If the area is unfamiliar to you, try to look for trust-worthy walking companions and walk near them, preferably male, that way just in case you’ll have a convenient bystander who can help you.
R- Reach for make-shift weapons. While this is just for precautions, use your adrenaline rush and resourcefulness to utilize normal items you have in your bag. Your hairspray, cologne, or alcohol perhaps, to temporarily blind the bad guy in case of an assault and not of robbery to buy you time while you flee. Your Tumblers or water bottles, hair brush, ball pen or umbrella for ‘weapons’. Again, this is just for precautions.
A- Abandon Ship. Fighting is never the smartest choice in these situations. Most times, robbers are desperate, brought to the edge by their financial needs. They will not hesitate to hurt you. Be smart, just give them your phone or wallet. Safe way to do it, if possible, is to throw the item away from you instead of handing it straight to them, that way you can safely run. I often separate my bills from my coin purse and put them between the pages of my book. Mainly cause I don’t want it wrinkled, but it is a safe method, or put your money in the most unexpected places. Some put their money in their make-up bags, toiletries, or sometimes undergarments. This way, you’d still have extra money to reach home.
And lastly, W- Why?! I ask, in the first place are you in that wretched area at 1 AM at night walking alone? Whether you had to go overtime at work or went out partying in the streets of Makati, knowing that it is that late of the night. You should not have tried to test the dark murky streets of this dangerous era.
With all said, it will really be of help to be informed. Be aware of the current events. Know the dangers that are currently happening and may arise. Especially for the Filipino-Chinese communities. Do not be complacent, always expect the worst. Be resourceful and smart in your decisions as this may not be applicable to all Modus Operandi situations. Fighting bad guys, or winning in a danger battle even before it arrives is as easy and simple as that of a humble straw, taking safety measures and precautions to decrease the probability of danger. Take an effort to adapt presence of mind, and of course lastly and the most important, to pray for God’s presence and protection through-out your day.