LEYTE, Philippines – Things went sour for fruit vendor Solomon Alfanta on Easter Sunday morning, April 21, when he was paid a fake P1,000 bill at the New Market Place, Minglanilla in Cebu City.
Alfanta, 76, a resident of Cantao-an, Naga City, in Cebu, recalled that an unknown customer duped him after buying P100 worth of bananas, taking away P900 of his earnings. (READ: How a street vendor grew up to become the Philippines’ Juice King)
He didn’t realize this until he used the bill to purchase meat.
“Akong pares kay muona unta og uli. Magpalit unta mi’g baboy nga humbaon balig 200 para iyang madala sa balay, pero, wala man dawata ang usa ka libo. Gibiyaan na lang nako ang gitadtad nga baboy,” Alfanta explained.
(My wife wanted to go home already. We planned to buy P200 worth of meat and use it to cook humba at home but the vendor did not accept the P1,000. I decided to just leave the chopped meat.)
On Monday, April 22, Alfanta filed a complaint at the Minglanilla Police Station.
“Pagkauna gibalibaran ko sa mga police. Pero pagka-lunes, naa’y police nga hing-anhi sa amoang balay. Napa-blotter na namo. Giingnan ko sa mga police nga ini’g ila nang madakpan ang nangilad nako, anhion ko nila sa balay. Ila ko’ng pahibaw-on,” Alfanta said.
(At first, the policemen rejected my complaint. But on Monday, there where policemen who went to our house. We filed a blotter against the scammer already. They told me that when they capture the scammer, they will come to my house to inform me.)
Concerned citizen helps
Six hours after the incident occurred, Angelie Mabanta, a resident of Sibunga, Cebu took to social media to document what happened to Alfanta.
Mabanta recounted that she went to the market and noticed the number of people surrounding the old man.
“Nangompra ko sayo sa buntag. Kani si Lolo gibayran og P1,000 nga fake. Gisuklian pud taw’n niya og P900 kay bali’g P100 man ang gipalit. Unya gibilin ra sad ang saging, dayon hing lakaw,” the post reads.
(I went to the market early. Lolo was paid with a fake P1,000 bill. He gave P900 change since the scammer bought P100-worth of bananas. The bananas were left behind and the scammer walked away afterwards.)
Mabanta also went live on Facebook calling help for Alfanta and thanking those who did.
“Daghan man nitabang. Wala ko magdahum daghan matouch sa post ug sa situation ni tatay,” Mabanta shared.
(Many extended their help. I did not expect that many people will be touched with the post and situation of Alfanta.)
After the post went viral, Alfanta received monetary donations from concerned citizens, including Overseas Filipino Workers from the USA. (READ: ‘Tay, may abogado ka na:’ Lawyer pays tribute to taho vendor)
He said he had received a considerable amount of donations, and some more have been promised to him.
Mabanta messaged the page Minglanilla Flash Report on Facebook to reach out to more people. Manuel R. Gonzales Jr, the administrator of the page, said that there were also Good Samaritans, who reached out to him since Alfanta had no cellphone at that time.
“Naa’y mga hing hatag ug kwarta. Naa sa’y mga nanganhi para mopalit sa baligya ni Tatay. Naa po’y naghatag ug bugas sa iyaha,” Gonzales stated.
(Some gave monetary donations. There were also people who bought all of his bananas and there also others who gave rice.)
Mabanta also purchased a cellular phone for Alfanta from the monetary donations given to him.
For donations, you may send a direct message to Angelie Mabanta on Facebook. – Rappler.com
Larnie Bacalando is a Rappler mover from Palompon, Leyte. She is a graduating Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of Palompon Institute of Technology and is the news director of Fulcrum.