MANILA, Philippines – Social media has once again proven how technology can be utilized for good and that it can and foster honesty and kindness, after married couple Fritz and Sheine Sapon managed to return a lost valuable item using a popular platform.
On the late afternoon of April 26, what started out as an ordinary day for Fritz and Sheine took a surprising turn when they stumbled upon a lost piece of jewelry in a coffee shop in Marikina City.
In an interview with Rappler, Fritz said he spotted the ring lying on the ground. “We met with our tailor kasi nagpapagawa kami ng coats namin. And then, while we were having coffee, nakita ko sa may paanan ko ‘yung ring,” he narrated.
(We met with our tailor that day because we scheduled a fitting for our custom-made coats. And then, while we were having coffee, I saw the ring on the ground.)
“When we got the ring, we had goosebumps seeing that the ring had the engraved date – 1969.” They immediately realized the value that this ring holds to the person who might have misplaced it.
The couple came to a consensus to post about the discovered ring on social media. Fritz took the initiative of uploading it on his personal Facebook account, while Sheine shared it across various Facebook groups.
Since they found the ring in SM Marikina, she decided to share the post to geographic community groups on Facebook, thinking that the owner could be residing in the surrounding areas – Marikina City, Montalban, Pasig City, Cainta, Taytay, or Antipolo.
Having been married just recently, Sheine also considered sharing the post to groups for bridal suppliers on Facebook. She recalled staying up until 1 am trying to look for possible leads.
As they went about spreading the post, social media users started making claims to the ring in the comments section. Some comments also suggested that they contact the coffee shop where they found the ring as this may provide more details for the search. However, the establishment was unresponsive.
Message from April
Although they had planned to return to the shop the following day, they were fortunate enough to receive a message from a certain April, among the numerous responses they received.
April introduced herself as the daughter-in-law of the ring owner, Letty. She provided intricate details about the ring that only the rightful owner would know. She was also able to send a photo of Letty’s receipt to the coffee shop during her visit on April 26, as she was told by the staff to keep the receipt for access to the restroom.
The couple arranged to meet Letty the following day at the same location where the ring was found. “We were excited to meet her and hear her insights from the 54 years’ worth of marriage,” Sheine said.
Letty sealed her ownership of the lost jewelry by presenting the partner of the ring. Apparently, the lost ring, which is engraved with the name “Letty,” belonged to her late husband, while her own ring has her husband’s name (Avel) on it.
She wears her own ring on a necklace as it wouldn’t fit her finger anymore, and then she wears her husband’s ring with a stopper on top to prevent it from slipping off. While washing her hands that day, she was unaware that her ring had slipped off her finger. Thankfully, it fell into the hands of Fritz and Sheine who were persistent and kind enough to look for her.
During their meetup, Letty also recalled that her neighbors actually saw Fritz’ post and jokingly talked about this certain “Letty” who lost her ring. “Ako pala ‘yun, ako pala ‘yung nakawala nung singsing.” (I didn’t realize it was me. I was the one who lost a ring.)
She shared to the couple that it was the first time she lost the ring since her husband’s passing.
Letty was vibrant and energetic as described by the couple. They were deeply moved when she even let them wear both her ring and Avel’s ring. To their surprise, the rings fit them perfectly, especially Sheine, who has a very specific ring size. “Walang ring na kumakasya sa akin. May specific size lang talaga. (There is only a specific ring size that fit my finger perfectly.),” she told Rappler.
The recovery of the lost ring sparked a newfound relationship between Letty and the couple. They spent more time with Letty over dinner, together with April, her daughter-in-law, and three more family members who accompanied her during the meetup.
“We treated her to dinner because we didn’t want the conversation to end. We had a good time talking with one another. She was able to share her personal life, including her husband’s,” Sheine said.
After the couple made another social media post bearing the news that they already found Letty, the comments section got flooded with replies saying that they knew her. Some of them even recollected their memories as former students of Letty.
The couple did not expect that their post would gain as much attention as it did. This also made them realize that people are good by nature. “I think nature naman ng tao na maging mabuti. Minsan forced lang ng circumstances kaya hindi nakakagawa ng maganda,” Fritz said.
(I think people are good by nature. There are just circumstances that force some to be involved in bad situations.)
“If given the chance, people really want to help. We were just instruments for other people to also step up and help,” Sheine added.
Fritz also said that stories might just be of general interest to Filipinos. “Tayong mga Pilipino mahilig tayo sa mga telenovela, love stories. Siguro gusto nilang malaman ‘yung kwento kung bakit nawala ‘yung singsing.”
(Filipinos have great interest in stories. Perhaps they were eager to know how the owner lost the ring or the story of the ring.)
On a more personal note, the couple also shared how this unexpected encounter with Letty prompted them to reflect on their own marriage. “As we drove home, we were talking. Ganito pala ang itsura ng wedding ring na 54 years old. (So, this is how a 54-year-old wedding ring looks like.),” Sheine shared.
It was not the first time that they were given an opportunity to help. Sheine shared that a few months back, they rescued a dog who got lost on its way back home after following its owner to work.
They took care of the dog for a couple of days, while they searched for the owner using social media. Had they not been fortunate enough to find the dog owner, Sheine said they would have decided to permanently adopt the dog. However, it appears that the the power of social media has not let them down.
They consider both happenings as a display of “collective effort” that Filipinos exhibit during times of need.
“For us, Nanay Letty’s ring is just a symbol of things that are lost that can be found, as long as we have the heart to help…,” the couple said. They are amazed by how many people are determined to help a person they do not even know.
“People can be heroes in their own ways. They think that doing great things or grandiose things would make you a hero, but your simple act of sharing or spreading of a certain post, of a thing that’s missing, some people would think it’s inconsequential, but it’s a big thing, it creates a huge impact,” Sheine stated.
Fritz was amazed by how social media provided a platform for Filipinos to showcase a sense of bayanihan, or community cooperation, and how the online community came together to help with the search for the owner of the lost ring. “Ang galing ng power ng social media. Grabe ‘yung naging reception ng tao…. Malaki ‘yung potential niya na makatulong,” he said.
(I am amazed at how people responded to the post. This happening underscored the significant impact of social media, which has huge potential to help individuals in need.)
He also added, “‘Yung social media naman alam naman natin na…maraming pwedeng magawang mabuti…. Pwede siyang maging positive, pwede rin siyang maging negative. In our case, nagamit namin siya to find the rightful owner of the ring.“
(We all know that social media is a double-edged sword, capable of creating both positive and negative outcomes. In this particular case, we were able to use social media for good by successfully locating and returning the lost ring to its rightful owner.) – Rappler.com
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