Friday, October 1, 2010

A Fifty-Peso Fraud

The Conductor vs. the passenger! This seems to be the scene as I am riding an ordinary bus home (known for their bullet fast acceleration). Their voices were boisterous and their argument apparently heightened. And, at my guess, it would only be a sudden loss of patience from a nonverbal pose or a provocative word that might send the final wick of this debacle to explode.
People were looking; passengers who were disturbed from their snooze turned their heads towards the two. Sensing a furious exchange of blows or even a flagrant hitting commentary would suffice for these people. Me? I didn’t give a fuss. I was, after all, recovering from the loss of my 700-peso automatic black with green pinstripe Fibrella, which have been one of my few remaining “possession” from my old job; it was stolen from a computer shop were I was just typing an assignment. Who would steal an umbrella for heaven’s sake!
I was more furious than these two combined. However, as their argument came to a long dragging repetitious dialogue, fed up from the irritating persistence of the other fellow to take his money the conductor unable to control his tempering mouth in a high pitch tone― which he might not be cognizant of―blurted, “pare peke ang pera mo!”  Then the bus fell into a deep silence, as if everybody paused and waited for a final verse in a play. That is when my curiosity sprung into life.
While the worker sat on the bus froze to what has been said I asked the conductor  about his conclusions of the fraudulence of the money. “Paano naging peke to?” I asked in an inquisitive manner. He then gave me the money and asked me to hold and feel the bill’s surface. Seriously, when I saw the crumpled money it was like the 50-peso bill that I have. It’s real! But the conductor pointed out that the surface of the bill is smoother and more crisp like an ironed paper while the real one was soft, more defined in its surface. The difference seems to be apparent and if we could detect fraud by that factor the rejected money was truly a fake.
The passenger iterated that it was given to him as a change by another bus line earlier and now, being in a fixed allowance, is now his only money at his disposal. Fortunately, I asked the conductor what he thought of that whether he would ask the man to get out of the bus―we are at the middle of Skyway―or whether, in his kind nature, mark off the fare from the person just for today. Luckily for the passenger the latter choice won out.
My point here is not merely exposing the verity of the existence of forfeited money nor would I be proving any facts delineated by the conductor as a proof of counterfeited money. I would care less about that; the mere fact that both money (real and sham) all had features or expected features of the real one, that crispness and smoothness alone defines it would be even dubious to allude to any conclusion, truly it was head bashing, so let us leave that.
What I am alluding to is the fact that these events (the bogus bill and, yes, my stolen umbrella) to occur is pitiful, downright foul, and a con that takes advantage of the less advantaged many. If a 50-peso bill has even pushed a person to put another into this predicament does it sound too ridiculous? A 50-peso bill, an amount not even too big to buy a 1-piece Chicken Joy has tempted and prompt individuals to forge a life they don’t have, isn’t that saddening? That an umbrella is stolen right at your back in a formal place like a computer shop isn’t that mortifying?
Truly, the adage money is the root of evil is true. But let me add to that, man becomes evil when he allows money to be his root. And there are far worse thieves than those who have done this they sit in an esteemed and respected chair with suites, uniforms, barongs and filipinianas on, while stealing more umbrellas and 50-peso bill from the people―they steal opportunities!
This was written on the 3rd of August now that we are nearing the yuletide season maybe they have populated even more.

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