I already knew so much stories of hold up along Agham Road, especially in UP-SM North Edsa jeepneys during the brief stops at the intersections. I became even more fearful after hearing personal stories from my co-workers. But they assured me that it would most likely happen during late afternoon to night. However this one happened during noontime, under the scorching heat of the sun.
I wanted to meet up with my sister and do some grocery in SM North Edsa so I rode the UP-SM North Edsa jeepney which is the default transportation route. I sat near the driver because it’s much safer. When I have already seated, I noticed some passengers wearing earphones and their cellphones exposed. I was irritated by that fact because they’re really eye-catchy to the snatchers/hold-uppers. I just prayed and asked for Mama Mary’s intercession for the trip to be safe. There was this image of Her in the jeepney driver’s dashboard and I just constantly looked at Her because I was feeling anxious.
Then came the most agonizing part of the ride: the Agham road intersection. The jeepney stopped several times because of the traffic. Then suddenly a young guy in yellow shirt wearing a Jeje cap came. Actually I didn’t notice him come because my eyes were in front, but I was alarmed by the sudden commotion among my co-passengers. It happened so fast. A bag and a cellphone was taken and the hold-upper ran away quickly. I didn’t know what really happened but the old woman told us that there should have been another backup along with that guy but they didn’t attempt to continue because someone shouted (a young boy selling rags) “Ay! Hold-upper!!” several times and was probably alerted. I remember that the hold-upper even denied while running away. The woman also added that the hold-upper was carrying a knife. Then she kindly scolded the passengers wearing earphones to not wear them again during jeepney rides because they attract snatchers/hold-uppers.
Thank God! The hold-up didn’t happen and no one was hurt! But it’s frustrating that the roads and public vehicles do not feel safe anymore when you should be actually be assured that you are safe, especially at daytimes. Hay.