Some might say I am a bit of a paranoid. However, from what I have been through in many different occasions – no one can blame me. I knew if I was not aware at that time, I might have been a victim of an akyat-bahay- gang or commonly known as a house robbery.
It happened to me seven years ago. It was three in the morning. At that time, my daughter and I were sleeping in the living room because we would be up so late watching tapes and tinkering my MySpace account, which was so popular at that time.
I heard a noise in my gate. I opened my window, and I saw a woman who appeared to be a lesbian – who was already climbing my gate. I also saw a group of women standing in my front gate. Whatever their plans are, maybe, they thought everyone was already asleep.
Before I could say anything, the woman was already inside my garage. Maybe she was planning to open my gate to let the others get in as well, as soon as she was inside.
I asked her in an angry voice, why she climbed the gate. She said her relatives live in our house and wants to see her. I yelled, “What! We have been living in this house for years!” I told her in an infuriated voice. She said she recognized the slippers outside our door to be her aunt’s slippers. How lame could that be?
Maybe she was hoping I would get out of the house and help her open the gate for her, so she could get out –a terrible mistake for anyone to do.
If I had made that mistake of opening my door, and opening the gate so she could get out – it would be like opening the floodgates for the rest of them to get inside my house.
Nevertheless, I did not budge; I stayed behind my closed doors, and yelled at her inside my grilled windows.
Luckily, she could not open the gate, because I had the habit of twisting a wire to secure its handle, to make sure it cannot easily be opened by other people. I could see her hands already shaking from nervousness.
While she was trying to figure out how to let it loose –I yelled at her again. This time she scrambled to just climb up the gate, and jump out as fast as how she came in.
I counted all the people who were still outside the gate; they were five more women outside ages 20’s to 30’s. They are all looking normally dressed, but considering the time, their excuse, and the way the girl entered my premises are a sure indications that they are hoodlums. They all left in haste.
Any strangers, who knock my door at 3 am, be a child, a woman, or an older person who does not look like they are in an emergency situation — I will consider a threat to my safety and my family.
If they look like they are in a real danger, I will make sure to rouse up all my neighbors, so I am not alone in dealing deal with the situation.
Have a noise device that can catch your neighbor’s attention. Have a whistle in your possession, and at home as well. A whistle, which only costs minimal, can come in handy. I got mine from a depot for only P 40.00.
Times have changed, and we all should be aware of that. Simple things like, double locks are a good investments.
If faced with a situation like what I have experienced — stand your ground, and let them know you are in control of the situation. Most of all try to wake your neighbors by making as much noise as you can.
Always have a barrier between you and a stranger. Keep that barrier. Once that barrier is gone – you will be in a lot more difficult situation. We do not want that to happen.
Be aware of every people in your neighborhood. Know who are the regular occupants, and observe the new faces.
Trusts are never given casually. Awareness can be a strong deterrent for anything that can be harmful for us.