i was robbed the other day, no less inside my office at the good old university of the philippines film institute's academic division at the annex building of plaridel hall or the college of mass communication.
if you've been inside my office or our upfi offices, which colleague and film director ed lejano lovingly calls "bartolina," you'll see how small and difficult it is to maneuver inside, much less have more than two people there at a given time. students come and go inside half my office because i am the academic coordinator, meaning i head the academic division of upfi so everthing academic they ask me, have me sign equipment reservation papers etc. often, i see most students' eyes roam around the "decor" (eg. kalat?) of my room as i browse through their documents before signing them and such. no big deal.
but maybe this time, it was. even if i leave my office door open, the way leads to the common area where our secratary is stationed and where people converge coming out of their respective faculty offices or the technical room. and my room, when open, is so visible even from the corridor outside, kaya nga wala akong takas sa mga naghahanap sa akin. i can't close the door naman for privacy (except sometimes) dahil sira na for ages yung aircon na sine-share namin ng ka-duplex kong faculty room, which houses another colleague, 24oras/unang hirit director roehl jamon. kaya we'd rather conduct our businesses outside or tiis mode na lang dahil walang pera ang cmc pang-repair ng aircon.
and even if you're outside my door, you won't immediately see where i leave my bags. and where do i leave them? my small shoulder bag sling type ek i always hang sa makeshift coat hanger sa dulo ng desk ko, near the farthest kanto na ng office ko. my backpack naman sa baba nun, konti na lang at nasa ilalim na siya ng desk ko, na nasa dulo nga ng room.
i opened my backpack to get stuff and put the music cds i was lending to a friend that afternoon, and i distinctly remembering bringing the SATC OST which was on top of the cd pile on the table. then i prepared stuff and went outside my office, not bothering to close it, because i will just hold a 10-minute orientation session with students who will shoot their thesis this sem. i asked our secretary to eat an early lunch so by that time, she is already there na, which she was. when i went outside and inside the orientation room, just a few steps from my office, our secretary was still in her area.
when i got back, it was already 1pm and i prepared for my 1-4pm class. i just waited for my friend who arrived by 1.20pm or so, and told her about the cds and she could use my computer to do her music research while i hold class. i go out from time to time so i could see if my friend was okay or if she needed anything from me. i was showing her the cds but the SATC OST was not there. i asked her to search for it sa room ko pero wala siyang nakita.
flash forward to 7pm. i was about to pull out when i noticed my sling bag's zipper was open and the side zipper was also open. nakakadaya yung side zipper kasi nasa top din siya kaya napagkamalan sigurong main zipper. i looked inside and saw my wallet was gone. i searched for it in my backpack but it was not there. i searched everywhere, but it was not there. from 4.30-6.30p, i was busy hauling unwanted papers and files from my office and did some house cleaning so i know the wallet was not outside my bag.
it was then that i realized that i was robbed.
i guess it was fast, swift, and desperate. i would understand why someone would want to partake of other people's property. sabi nga sa police report ng diliman police station "unknown intruder entered vicinity with the intent of material gain." hanep sa wording, couldn't have said it better myself.
with the intent of material gain
we all have the intent of material gain. who doesn't? well, technically, dapat ang mga pari hindi dahil meron silang vow of poverty, at ang mga buddhist monks kasi nga material things will not lead them to nirvana. but the rest of us folks always have that intent of material gain.
i was just texting nga my pinsan the other day who was so keen (read: kulit) on recruiting me for some variation of a multi-level marketing or direct selling business whatnot. we had a text exchange, sabi ko i was busy and if only i had more time, i will sit with them and attend their orientation. he then said na that's life daw, dapat daw i make more time to make way for a job that will make me happy or something and if i want to make more money, then i should devote time daw to know how. slight na-offend ako, thinking if he really knew what i was doing. so i told him. i said i already have a job, at sa UP na lang nga, swamped na ako but i like it, because it makes me happy even if faculty sweldo is not so happy in terms of material gain (un-gain nga e). then i said, i am also happy with my other media engagements, because that makes me happy. meron din siyang sinabi about making money and getting rich. so in the end, ang sabi ko is this, complete with the miss universe crown and scepter:
with all the things i do, my aim is not really to get rich but to leave works that will enrich other people.
in short, gusto ko kasi, yung ginagawa ko, may kabuluhan, may impact sa ibang tao, may importance. kahit ma-touch ka saglit ng isang article, mapatawa ka saglit ng isang skit, mapukaw ang isip mo ng isang insight na galing sa akin, happy na ko dun, material ungain notwithstanding. so ang ending, he said "okay, i understand." i guess that's the last i'll hear from him about that topic.
so to be violated and offended like that by the thief who stole my wallet, in no less than my office sa kapita-pitagang unibersidad ng pilipinas, na ngayo'y isa nang national state university dahil sa new charter, aba, ang galing. U.P. ANG GALING MO sabi nga ng mga banners, tarps, posters, shirt at flyers na nagkalat sa campus ngayon. ang galing mo, galing mong magnakaw sa baluarte natin na dapat ay protektado ng matinong pag-iisip at makataong pakikitungo. hindi pala.
it's just sad to think that this could happen in that place. i don't mind that i lost the cd, the wallet or the money. all of that i could replace. hassle lang of course yung nawalan ng pertinent documents like my health cards (philhealth and UP health service), the atms which i all had blocked and replaced, and my driver's license. also the other stuff i put there because i deem them important. i just with the thief would return those. i dont care if s/he keeps the money, the wallet and other things s/he may find useful, but i hope s/he returns the other things that are useful to me.
what i loathe here is the thought that someone in UP could do sometihng like this. of course not everyone is perfect, and the biggest thief of all was after all from UP (hello dictatorship). i think someone who does this is also sick in the head, so dapat magpatingin siya dahil mental health ito e. sana lang ma-realize niya before it's too late. kung student siya, sad naman. siguro hindi nga nila naiintinihan ang value ng pera, kung paano ito pinaghihirapan, dahil madali lang para sa kanila na kunin ang pera o gamit ng iba nang walang pakundangan. mas nalulungkot ako dito ng sobra. alam ko namang hindi ito gagawin ng colleague, dahil mas may material gain naman silang lahat kesa sa akin, at siyempre intact (kahit papaano) ang mental health nila. alam ko ring hindi ito gagawin ng mga kuya at ate na utility na laging pumupunta sa opisina para mangolekta ng basura, tumulong sa pagbubuhat at tumulong sa sekretasrya na magtimpla ng kape. alam ng mga taong ito (o at least ng grupong ito na kasalamuha na namin ng matagal na) ang halaga ng perang pinaghihirapan at pinagtatrabahuhan ng marangal, kaya hindi nila dudungisan ang sarili nila sa ganoong paraan. kung taga-labas naman ito, wala rin naman kaming magagawa dahil baka nga sinukuban iyon ng evil na ang sole intent ay material gain.
ayun lang. sana lang hindi siya estudyante, kasi nakakalungkot na hindi niya naiintindihan kung ano ang konsepto ng dangal, ng marangal na trabaho, at ng sakripisyo. kung estudyante nga iyon, naaawa ako sa mga magulang niya at sa mga nagpapaaral sa kanya. 'ika nga, sayang lang ang puhunan...