We are receiving more emails from people wanting their stories told. This is one from New Zealand in the writers words….
TRUE STORY OF MY HOLIDAY TO THE PHILIPPINES
JANURARY 25 2006 I was working as a freezing worker in Wellington New Zealand, I decided to go for a holiday to Philippines. Taking 1 month leave from my job Intending to go to Cebu, I arrived in Manila where I was going to get another flight to Cebu,but arriving late at night I had to wait until the next day.I booked into a hotel there,had a few hours sleep and decided to go for a walk to get some rolling tobacco as I smoked roll your own. I walked I a straight line down the street so I didnt get lost,till I found a store.Unbeknown to me the store didn’t sell rolling tobacco,so I bought 1 pack of Marlboro.Walking back to the hotel I was approached by a Filipino,asking if I wanted a girl for the night.Telling him no I was looking for rolling tobacco,with hand signal motions because his English was bad.Telling me to wait at the hotel door he can get me some so I gave him 500peso to buy.After about 30 min he came back,and handed me 2 plastic sachets.As soon as they where in my hand 2 police came and asked what I had..What could I say BANG arrested for possession of marijuana (0.784gram)and( 0.782gram). Taken to Malate Police Station ,was formally charged all the time explaining that I was only wanting tobacco not marijuana.Asking to call NZ embassy and do a drug test to prove I do not take drugs ,was refused.After a day there in a office,i was taken to DAID (District Illegal Anti Drugs) division of the police.While there I was locked in a cell 8×8 with 10 or 12 others.I was there 1 month.In this time the arresting cop,was at me to pay him 500,000 PHP and he will let me go.Not having that money,he even went out of his way to get me a cellphone so I could ring family and friends to send to me.Having told my sister in Australia that I was going,i said I would call when I arrived in Philippines to let her know I was safe,once I got a phone within a day or 2.After 1 week she was in a state of panic,and called the NZ embassy in Manila.
They tracked me from NZ to Manila then nothing.They rang around the police station and finally found me in DAID.They came to see me there bringing me a magazine ,toothbrush,phone card
While there the consul and 1 other,the arresting cop and myself where in a office.I told the consular that the cop wanted me to give him 500,000 PHp and he will let me go. The cop agreeing to this,The consul stood up put his hands over his ears ,saying ,“I’m not supposed to hear that”and walked out and left me there.
After about 2 weeks there I was given a lot of time out of the cell,i think the cops there knew I was set up
They used to take me to town whenever,document delivery to other offices,take automatic rifles to lockers etc,on 1 condition that I did not go out the main door unaccompanied.
All was good until this cop San Pedro was his surname was on duty.He gave everyone hell,including me.But I took no shit from him ,and gave it back.Hello,next I’m being transfered to Manila City Jail. Man was I freaking out.
After getting there was taken to the medical,what for I don’t know,nothing was done.
to the hairdressers to get a hair cut,all off for new arrivals,and had to pay 20 pesos for it.then sat outside waiting .everyone had to walk like a duck,to cell block,i was taken to Dorm 5 for forengers and non gang members.370 prisoners in there. There were no officers, just inmates with a mayor ,vice mayor etc ,walking with wooden bats,if you played up you were beaten. Wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, TV, karaoke, even prostitutes (if you had the money) would come from the city. A market to buy food,out the door.everyone slept on the concrete floor like a tin of sardines.Little hole in the floor for the toilet,was about the to worst thing
Every few days I was taken to court,2 prisoners handcuffed each side and 1 behind.The prison bus was full always 3 on the seat and 3 sitting on the back of the seat.The bus had no exhaust system as was deafening.
I was allowed to post bail 120,000php which I did as soon as I could.
Leaving the prison ,I was taken to the head mans office where I spend about 2 hours.He explained to me that he liked to hear English so kept talking to me.
His agreement with me was that if I was found guilty of my charge and came back,i was to go to his house during the day,and only speak English so his kids will learn it,but sleep at the prison at night.
Going out the gate the guards,want to photo copy my release papers,all good,but then wanted 500pesos for doing it.After a bit of arguing I asked for my phone,telling them I was calling the head man to tell him.
OHH,it was ok ,I didn’t need to pay
I got a taxi to town,bought a map of the Philippines and looked for the furthest city from Manila
Deciding to go to Davao ,I got the first plane out ,and went to a small town called Kapalong why Kapalong? Don’t ask me I just needed to clear my head.
I was the only foreigner there no one could speak English, a lot of NPA,so I found out later, but I never had any problems there.
Every month I had to go to Manila for my court case,few times on the plane or ferry , but mostly by bus,3 days and 2 nights travel.
Sometimes there would be a typhoon or the judge or cops would not turn up ,so back on the bus and back,8 days worth for 3 years.
I made a few friends there in particular the Agayan family who went to Davao city a lot.After about a year I met a woman in Davao and moved back to Davao.
Everything was good, moved to the family home,but the family didn’t understand why I went to Manila every month, (I kept it from them) but my girlfriend knew.
about 2 years the excuses ran out so she told her family,but all was good.
Eventually we married and have 1 daughter now.
Knowing my time is nearly up ,i built a sari sari store,just incase i was sent to prison so they had money
The day was near,i went to manila for my final day in court,my name was called,”here goes” shaking like i leaf after all the facts and so on ,
I WAS ACQUITED
RELIEF…..tears running out my eyes i was so happy.
thanked the Judge so much that he believed i was telling the truth.
In the court who should be there but the NZ embassy consul etal telling all how they supported me and what a great job they had done,
All i could think about now was going back to NZ.
Making a plan with my wife i would go and be back,or she was to follow once i got settled.
All good,time to go,got to the airport,going through immigration,and stopped,hold departure order was still valid,i was not going anywhere,till i called the NZ embassy once again to tell them .
All sorted but Blacklisted till i pay the overstaying fees for the whole time.
them my lawyer said I didnt need to pay, because it was the government that had kept me here.
Finally allow to go ,but if i want to come back,i have to pay the overstaying fees,which i have done on 4th of Nov, 2013
To this very day and thousands of dollars i have still not had my blacklist order lifted
Ive phoned BI, been to the Phil embassy here,met with the ambassador to the philippines. Still not one bit of help
Now it is time to get my family here ,i need to draw a line somewhere.
Don’t get me wrong i like there very much ,and if i was allowed back i would be on the first plane out.
Wishing everyone there a Happy New Year,and hope things turn out well for all the people sending their stories to VFaB
And to anyone reading this who is going to the Philippines,
BE CAREFUL<IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU…….Terence Cremins