29 Aug2006


by Marketman

How many times in one’s life should you find it necessary to scream that word at the top of your lung capacity. Marketman and family just survived a burglary attempt last night at about 9 p.m. We live in a fairly secure village and have never had problems in the past, but last night a burglar jumped over our fence, cased out part of the house, and with us IN THE HOUSE, he smashed a glass window in a bathroom and was attempting to yank the window off its hinges and make his way into the house. Thankfully, and I won’t go into too many details, I was able to startle him before he was completely in the bathroom and scare him away. How discombobulating is that??? Our block was surrounded by guards within minutes but the would be thief got away on barefoot, leaving his small and pathetic footprints in the mud near the bathroom window. I always wondered how I would react when faced with such a split second decision moment. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have yelled at him, run to secure my family, call the village security then chase after the guy outdoors. Instead, I should have calmly told my wife and kid to retreat to a safe internal room with a phone and call for help while I returned to the bathroom with my trusty and weighty humongous flashlight that I could have whacked the man’s head with as he crawled his way indoors. But I didn’t know how many friends he might have with him outdoors. I didn’t know if he was a petty thief or a band of kidnappers. Yikes. So T.V. CSI material. And frankly, not until later and in a calmer mood did I think, Yipes! A disgruntled Market Manila reader who was annoyed that I was toying with the idea of taking a month-long break! Heehee. Yes, my sense of humor has returned. But we do all feel totally violated. We didn’t get much sleep last night and I lost a few hundredths of a pound from the anxiety. That’s two times we have almost been victims of crimes this year….the attempted pickpocket in Barcelona and the attempted burglary in Manila. The best comment of the episode shortly after it happened? My wife was trying to de-brief our 10 year old and she said, “I didn’t think Dad was serious screaming at the top of his lungs because I couldn’t understand the word he was yelling…” Hmmm, have to have a word with her Filipino teacher; and frankly, my Filipino is so baluktot that I am surprised I didn’t scream a more convenient English word instead… I can think of several ways I would like to cook the crook if they ever find him. Let’s just say they wouldn’t be legally allowed options.



  1. izang says:

    dios mio….shocking yan…buti nlng when you suprised him he did not turn on you……and to think maaga p ang 9pm here…malakas ang loob nya…sobra…

    your angels are guarding you and your family, MM….

    Aug 29, 2006 | 12:50 pm


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  3. Jean says:

    MM, I felt nervous when I read the title. Thanked God all are safe.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 12:58 pm

  4. fely barcelon says:


    Aug 29, 2006 | 1:39 pm

  5. Chris says:

    When I saw the headline, I thought somebody stole photos again! Yipes! A magnanakaw in that part of Metro Manila? Seems almost impossible considering all the security arrangements. But I’m glad all is well.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 1:59 pm

  6. choy says:

    it’s the sign of the times. happened to me several years ago. woke up to see my pants walking by itself. turned out it was being hauled out towards the window by a wooden pole.

    at the time, despite my protestations, the wife insisted on keeping the lights on while we slept. i turned them off right away, ducked (he might have had a gun)and screamed at the top of my lungs while pulling on the pole (the pants were brand new levi’s and my wallet was in it). then i pushed the pole hard, hoping it would hit the thief somehow

    anyway, he too got away and it turned out not empty-handed. he had gotten to my watch before he took my pants for a walk.

    well, now we sleep with the lights out and instead illuminate the outside. the wife now gets my logic that i’d rather be able to see what’s going on outside my house than affording some thief/pervert a look at what’s going on inside it.

    glad you and the family are ok, mm.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 2:36 pm

  7. ThePseudoshrink says:

    Glad everybody’s safe!
    Years back, we were robbed, and my father got shot (he survived). The valuables taken were, well, not very valuable at all, but we all felt violated that time.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 3:00 pm

  8. virgilio says:

    Could be one of your readers who was traumatized by the result of his applie pie baking attempt per your recipe because he couldn’t figure out how to cut up the butter/shortening into the flour until the size of peas or smaller, especially because the only Cisco shortening he’s got was in a can? It was also frustratingly difficult for him to take out the whole pie from the pie form without mushing it! He was at wit’s end making a good pie crust that was flaky and couldn’t figure out what went wrong that he’s gone berserk!

    Aug 29, 2006 | 3:02 pm

  9. skymermaid says:

    Like Chris above, i thought someone stole photos from you again. i am glad you are all okay.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 3:09 pm

  10. CWID says:

    I thought that your story would end with you waking up from a bad dream while shouting “magnanakaw”, which happens to me sometimes. Thank goodness you are all safe.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 3:25 pm

  11. Lei says:

    Thank goodness that you are all safe and sound. I sincerely hope and will pray that none of these things ever happen to your lot again.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 3:27 pm

  12. Gigi says:

    MM! God is good! Whew!

    Aug 29, 2006 | 4:17 pm

  13. edee says:

    Yes, thank God that you’re all safe…..we’ll keep you in our prayers…..

    Aug 29, 2006 | 4:41 pm

  14. axel says:

    Wow! That “Scream” seems Munch-like. Good thing you instinctively reverted to the vernacular and scared him off. From your brief description that was one determined burglar. Could it be he caught a whiff of your left-overs?

    Aug 29, 2006 | 4:45 pm

  15. Mila says:

    Glad to hear you and the family weren’t hurt. Do they suspect an inside the village job?
    Good to see your sense of humor is intact (the kid’s filipino teacher must not know cebuano cuss words heehee).

    Aug 29, 2006 | 4:59 pm

  16. erleen says:

    CSI. His fingerprints are all over your bathroom window sill. You can have his footprints set with plaster. After which, all of the village entrants must remove their shoe for a foot match-up ala cinderella.

    Glad you are all OK, MM.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 5:37 pm

  17. mojito_drinker says:

    hope you are all better. good to know the family is safe…

    Aug 29, 2006 | 5:49 pm

  18. Katrina says:

    I’m so relieved to hear you’re all safe, MM! My family’s home was robbed once, too, while we were all asleep. Thank God they didn’t try to harm anyone, but they did take a bunch of stuff. It’s a good thing that we all always lock our bedroom doors at night. What was scary was that a few days later, they tried to enter the house again — this time during the day. I guess after seeing what there was, they wanted more. Since then, we’ve had a security guard. I echo Mila and Erleen: given your neighborhood’s security, this was probably an inside-the-village job; therefore, fingerprints should be compared.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 6:10 pm

  19. millet says:

    whoa! that was one unwanted adventure, MM. my guess is that the guy is one of your readers already going through post-traumatic stress disorder from reading your “taking-a-leave-from-blogging” post. seriously, i think you shoudl report it to the police, have it “blottered” so that it is on record, and have your neighborhood association discuss it, especially because of the distinct possibility that it could be an inside-the-village job.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 6:57 pm

  20. Marketman says:

    Hi everyone, turns out the burglar tried to get into the neighbor’s house as well, the home of an OECD country’s highest DEFENSE official at their Manila embassy who was away for the weekend. There were no staff on their premises. Yikes. Let’s just say they must be reviewing THEIR security measures. How embarrasing to have the top security dudes house burglarized! It seems the guy may have jumped a perimeter wall from a nearby main road to get into the village. But he tried to enter two homes and in the course of running away, trespassed on two more properties! I forgot to mention the brilliant role our pet labrador, gentle soul that she has, in barking fiercely at the interloper…she was brilliant! Thanks for all of the concern and good wishes. Next time I will whack him over the head with a fish pan and I know which commenter I will be thinking of at the exact moment of impact.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 7:31 pm

  21. Doddie from Korea says:

    I am wiping tears of laughter and relief reading all these posts. I am glad you and your family are safe MM. The reason why my husband decided to leave the Philippines and live here in Korea was because he was tired of our house being burglarized. Believe me, it was more than two times. :(

    Here in our town, shops are left unattended, houses and cars are left unlocked and sometimes we have slept with our front door unlocked. Families can go walking out as late as midnight and not worry about getting mugged.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 8:04 pm

  22. gonzo says:

    Get yourself a German Shepherd. or a Rottweiler. Labs are too friendly. I’ve had both labs and shepherds, and i can tell you shepherds– especially after guard dog training– will keep the bad guys away, along with a few of your less desirable friends, heh heh.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 8:11 pm

  23. Marketman says:

    gonzo, I grew up with 5 german shepherds in our house. All pure bred and well-trained. I know where you are coming from. They used to take bites out of the rears of our PLDT repairmen…

    Aug 29, 2006 | 8:32 pm

  24. gonzo says:

    Reminds me of the time when our house was almost burgled. i was still in high school. sometime after midnight, i happened to be awake and saw a figure lurking in the shadows right outside the house. i watched him for a while and saw that he was trying to work out how to get in the house, so i went to my dad’s room to wake him up.

    The old man goes to unlock the drawer that has his loaded .45, picks up the weapon and then silently tiptoes behind the window curtain by the door, head cocked to one side, gun close to his chest, listening for movement; and i actually remember thinking, “this guy thinks he’s James f-ing Bond!”(my father, as you may surmise, is not exactly normal)

    Fortunately for all involved, the would-be thief vanished as quickly as he had appeared. Probably heard all the fumbling going on inside the house and thought the wise move was to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

    God knows what would’ve happened had there been an actual confrontation. Visions of flat tires of cars parked on the street, the neighbours’ windows peppered with bullet holes, and their dog lying bleeding on the sidewalk come to mind.

    And that, MM, is my robbery story. Glad yours was equally, erm, uneventful.

    Get the Alsatian already.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 8:36 pm

  25. linda says:

    My heart was racing when I started reading this post and sighed with relief after I found out that you and your loved ones were okay. I thanked God that you are all safe and well.
    We,too had a labrador and was a very good watchdog and a loyal friend.We also had an Alsatian (police dog) and he really scared the living daylights out of everyone.Pagnaisipan mo bumili ‘ng another dog,I’ll send you a years’ supply of dogfood.Promise ko yan!

    Aug 29, 2006 | 8:43 pm

  26. joey says:

    Thank god you are all alright! Scary :(

    Aug 29, 2006 | 8:52 pm

  27. lilian says:

    this one is sooo funny lol, hi marketman, sweden saying hello to you and i am glad you and your family is safe.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 9:27 pm

  28. tei says:

    Good thing you’re all safe…

    Aug 29, 2006 | 9:42 pm

  29. maddie says:

    Like Chris I also thought your photos were used again.

    So glad you and your family are safe! Praning ako sa magnanakaw.

    I like Erleen’s CSI approach, especially the Cinderella foot match-up.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 10:06 pm

  30. Apicio says:

    Almost missed the excitement. Time to consider security and fire emergency planning and drills just like street-proofing the young ones before an incident. You know a lot of us do not want to loose you yet Marketman. Beats coming up with the brilliant riposte long after you’ve gone home from the party.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 10:07 pm

  31. Jean says:

    Security Cameras. That would be a good investment. I’d loan you ours but a couple of our cameras are still stuck in my mothers house.

    Also, maybe create a neighborhood watch in your area. Post a huge sign everywhere telling would be thieves that your community is on a look out.

    Aug 29, 2006 | 10:23 pm

  32. millet says:

    HAHAHA…am laughing so hard imagining the potential self-defense properties of a fish pan, and the potential intended target! naughty, naughty…

    Aug 29, 2006 | 10:29 pm

  33. ykmd says:

    A dastardly deed derailed! I’m glad you’re all safe…That fish pan comment was sooo funny :)

    Aug 29, 2006 | 10:47 pm

  34. Larees says:

    Glad everyone’s safe.
    “Next time I will whack him over the head with a fish pan and I know which commenter I will be thinking of at the exact moment of impact.”

    Aug 30, 2006 | 12:08 am

  35. oggi says:

    The would be home invader is a moron! Who would want to burgle an occupied house at 9pm then announce himself by breaking glass? It’s good to hear you’re fine and still have your sense of humor.

    Aug 30, 2006 | 12:24 am

  36. Pete says:

    I’m glad to hear that you and your family did not get hurt. This burglary really makes me re-think my decision for going back home to Manila for Medical school.

    I’ve been living a pretty safe and carefree life in my little Pittsburgh Pennsylvania bubble. I havent locked my doors in about 3 years and somtimes leave my keys in my cars ingnition in my driveway. I’m planning on getting a condo in a secured high rise but i really want to live in a single family home.

    Aug 30, 2006 | 2:11 am

  37. purplegirl says:

    izang (and most everybody) is right, the thief was very bold — burglarizing at 9pm which is still considered broad daylight!

    be careful next time (hope there isn’t a next time) because criminals that are bold are the ones who kill when confronted. and your weighty flashlight is no match to their 45 caliber handgun. glad everyone is safe in your household.

    Aug 30, 2006 | 4:53 am

  38. Nila says:

    Glad you are all safe. Well pray for you.

    Aug 30, 2006 | 5:41 am

  39. sha says:

    damn glad I “live” on a safe port that there were times we dont put our passarelle up.
    virgilios comment made me laugh so hard but honestly if you ask me a reason why I wont move back to Philippines.. its because of robbery.

    Been a victim once.

    take care

    Aug 30, 2006 | 6:21 am

  40. Rey says:

    MM sana binali mo yong paa niya nang baseball bat.

    Aug 30, 2006 | 7:03 am

  41. Susan says:

    Thank God that no one get hurt and everyone is safe..

    Aug 30, 2006 | 7:39 am

  42. Lani says:

    I’m happy that everyone is safe. Let us all pray for our country. It’s not that safe to live here.

    Aug 30, 2006 | 7:58 am

  43. acidboy says:

    the village you live in is a prime target talaga of burglary. take precautions na lang, and be thankful you and your family’s safe.

    perhaps the burglar was enticed by the smell of food from your kitchen? hehehehe.

    and to the posters who equate this burglary to the philippines not being safe to live in… puh-leeeze!!! as if burglary is exclusive in this country only. :(

    Aug 30, 2006 | 9:43 am

  44. nikka says:

    I live in Subic Bay, and while things are fairly safe here, there was a series of burglaries last year in our area. My hubby and I were looking for a good family dog (read: small, low-maintainance) and instead opted for a larger, tougher (read: Siberian Husky) addition to our family.

    We thought our house was well-guarded until yesterday, when my OC neighbor walked in and tended to our overgrown garden while we were at work! We came home to a beautifully maincured lawn and an embarassed dog. :)

    Aug 30, 2006 | 10:03 am

  45. gonzo says:

    Yes robbery and theft can be found in all countries, although admittedly the problem is worse in poverty-stricken countries (eg the philippines, central america, africa etc) and in rich countries with poor social welfare mechanisms (eg USA).

    And let us ‘pray’ for our country? yes fine, pray, but it seems to me that all this falling back on religion when problems arise is precisely why the Philippines is where it is today, the armpit of SE Asia. Let us pray but let’s not leave it at that. Combine prayer with action, good works, organisation, and so on and so forth. that’s the ticket; or else risk fulfilling the old Marxist cliche, ‘Religion is the opium of the masses’.

    Aug 30, 2006 | 11:38 am

  46. alb says:

    Ay naku! Was that your house? A thousand pardons, Market! I thought I was breaking into my house… Si misis, she locks me out if I’m not home by 9pm… But your aria scared the hell out of me!

    Aug 30, 2006 | 12:30 pm

  47. CecileJ says:

    Hey, alb! Fun-neee n cute!

    MM, being burgled isn’t funny. (I should know, lost most of my jewelry when we were)But remember, prudence is always the best part of valor. Better to scream unintelligibly than risk getting hurt. (But hitting him with a fish pan while thinking of “her” would have been oh so satisfying! )

    Aug 30, 2006 | 3:00 pm

  48. Jerry says:

    I keep imagining what was happening when you scream and hit the burglar with the fish pan that sounds like: Yaaaaaaaahhh!!! Boinnnggggg! Siguradong hilo ang loko, Baka naman gutom lang,, Sarap kasi ng mga luto mo.

    Aug 30, 2006 | 3:38 pm

  49. Luwee says:

    Thank God you are all safe, that’s the most important thing. Burglars, thieves, pickpockets, holduppers, and other bad elements are on the move. It is a sign of hard times. About a month ago, it was raining hard and we were parked inside a subdivision in Paranaque, we parked our car near the village entrance as the streets were too narrow. When we got back to the car, the spare tire of our SUV was gone. The following day, my brother-in-laws car was parked by the road side outside the Molave Center of Opus Dei. His left his laptop on the back seat. When he got back, the back seat glass window was forced open, his laptop was gone and so was his digital camera, PALM, and the bag containing his backup discs which were all at the rear compartment. Although we could joke about it all, we must also be more careful and vigilant. I sympathize with the poor and their present state but I believe it is not they who are doing this kind of things.

    Anyway, thanks everyone and MM for all the jokes and good humor, laughter is still and really is a good medicine for dampened spirits.

    Aug 30, 2006 | 5:33 pm

  50. Bay_leaf says:

    i’m sure he wanted to raid your kitchen, MM, but came in through the bathroom window! ;)

    keep a pepper spray around your house. will give you ample time to tie him up and put him in a big kawa! lol.

    Aug 30, 2006 | 6:52 pm

  51. maddie says:

    And because of the fishpan being brought up again and now with the added anti-burglar value, I just got myself one at SM!

    Aug 30, 2006 | 9:54 pm

  52. eugene says:

    MM If your living in a village or subdivision with guard on gates you should file a report on the village association for lack of security. so that there will be an investigation on the guards guarding the village on that night. sometimes the guards and thief are “makasangkot”. disgranted guard or guard that would leave soon..

    Aug 30, 2006 | 10:37 pm

  53. Crissy says:

    Sir MM,

    I may not know which village you live in, but I’m glad nobody was injured during that incident. Someone broke in our house too, about 12 years ago and I was only in Grade 3. We always leave our lights outside on and our bedrooms locked. They took the allowance from our wallets since we left our school bags in the sala.

    Quite a lot of responses from this entry…

    Thanks for sharing the story, at least we can learn from that experience and be cautious.

    Aug 31, 2006 | 9:27 am

  54. Connie says:

    Ayayay… that happened to us too, not in Antipolo though. Several times actually. The worst… we slept through it all (bedrooms upstairs). By the time we woke up, everything on the ground floor was… no TV, no VHS player (wala pa DVD nun), no microwave… they even took my brother’s mountain bike.

    Aug 31, 2006 | 11:14 am

  55. trishlovesbread says:

    What awful news Marketman! It might be a good idea for your entire household (or neighborhood) to think up an emergency plan–like a fire drill but for potential burglars. I was only a few years older than your kid when our neighbor was burglarized and I was scared for weeks! Going through the “burglar drill” helped though, it empowered me and the likewise terrified household help. :-)

    Aug 31, 2006 | 11:58 pm


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