Today, 911 was launched. And I can tell you, it was working as early as 1:30 this morning!
At 12:45 a.m., I went into my living room to check on things before heading to bed. I looked at my window and saw the shadow of a man standing at the balcony of my condominium (several floors above street level), knocking to get my attention. The lights were off and I couldn’t see his face. I screamed and ran back into the room. I hurriedly dialed the guard’s number as I looked at my bedroom windows which had portions of the curtain open. I was freaking out and was scared he would try to get to the bedroom windows too.
The guard immediately answered the phone. I told him to come up because there was a stranger at my window. As I waited for the guard, I could hear shuffling and noise from the floor above me.
The guard came in, told me to turn the lights on, and we saw a foreign man sitting by my window, begging to come in because he says he left his keys. You’re on my balcony, knocking at my window and you tell me you cannot enter your apartment because you left your keys? Hello! How did you climb down the balcony in the first place? What a preposterous excuse! The only explanation was he climbed on to my balcony from somewhere in the building! True enough, the guard said, “Ma’am, pwede bang ilabas ko na lang yan. Yan yung kalaguyo nung nasa taas eh. Nag-aaway ngayon kasi nahuli ng asawa.” (“Ma’am, may we let him out through your apartment? He’s the lover of the lady living in the unit above you. The husband caught him with the wife and they’re now fighting upstairs.”)
At first I said no. No way I was letting a stranger into my home…through the window. Then I thought, there was no other way for him to get out. If I wanted him to descend from outside the building, that would require a really long ladder and a lot of waiting since the guards will need to figure out how to get him out. I just wanted him out of my bubble…immediately! I told the guard to call in another guard so they would be sure to contain him when he enters my apartment. And so he called for another guard, as this red-faced stranger sat outside my window, begging for mercy.
The other guard came and they brought him out of my unit without incident. However, as they exited the unit, the husband emerged from the fire exit. I quickly shut the door and locked it behind me. I could hear them arguing in the hallway. “You were like a brother to me!” he said in English as they continued to argue loudly in Mandarin.
When all that was over, here I was all loaded up with adrenaline. I needed to tweet. So I did. And Su Layug (@Tw1tterPinay and @twitter_ph volunteer) replied saying, ”But since it’s Aug. 1 where u are, You may now call 911 if you need to. “ I forgot about that! I forgot about 911 and definitely didn’t note that it was being launched today.
So I called 911. A few rings and someone picked up right away. I explained the situation and told them that issue has sort of been resolved but I want to file a complaint and still get some help from the law. She asked if the people involved were still in the building. I said that the guards were holding them at the lobby and we were still waiting to get feedback from the barangay. A guard had to actually go and get help from the barangay. She said she could get PNP over if I wanted to and I said, of course I did. She got my details and said she would get back to me.
Meanwhile, I called the guard and as usual, after going to the barangay, they were told that those involved will have to personally go to the barangay to file a complaint. There was no way I was going through even more hassle at such an ungodly hour.
A little less than an hour later, I was told that the police officers wanted to see me. I came down to the lobby to see the love triangle at the lobby. I was told that I couldn’t press charges for “trespassing” but that the husband could press charges although the 3 of them may opt to settle. They will just take him in to teach him a lesson. And they wanted to speak to me and hopefully their presence would calm me down and make me feel safer.
I then asked if they came because of the 911 call. They did! And I said, “Wow! It really works!” They said, “yes, ma’am! We have to be quick to respond now!” I said I was impressed and grateful. I was probably one of the first few callers. I asked if I could take their photo and post about it so that people will know that 911 works. They happily obliged.
At this point, we (the policemen and I) were laughing, smiling, shaking hands and well, taking photos. So the 3 foreigners were so perplexed. I heard the girl whisper in Mandarin that she was wondering what was happening.
The police officers then asked if they could let the guy apologize to me. The girl and the “trespasser” both apologized profusely. I expressed my annoyance and left it at that. Hen mafan!
I am writing this post at 4:01 a.m. because my adrenaline is still way up there and because this story needs to be told. No one should ever have to see a stranger outside their window, from a floor high above ground at that.
And everyone should know that CHEATING IS BAD and 911 WORKS! – Rosario Juan
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