Cebu taxi drivers unite to help traveler retrieve lost bag

John Sitchon
Cebu taxi drivers unite to help traveler retrieve lost bag
The bellboy and guard of Cebu R Hotel, and a group of taxi drivers, use a radio relay to get back a business visitor's lost bag

CEBU, Philippines – Talk about teamwork. Finance manager Peachy Tan almost lost hope when her bag full of valuables went missing on Tuesday, March 21. That is, until a group of Cebu taxi drivers banded to help retrieve the missing bag.

“None of them were obligated to help, and yet when they heard and saw that I needed their help, they stepped up and contributed actions that led to the best outcome possible,” Tan said in a Facebook post on March 22.

“I got back everything I lost,” she added.

The Manila-based Tan had arrived back at the Cebu City Pier 1 on Tuesday, around 8 pm from a side business trip to Bohol.

She and two colleagues took a taxi to the Cebu R Hotel in Mabolo.

When they got to a hotel, one of the key cards did not work.

“I checked and narealize ko na nawala na yung bag ko (I realized that my bag was gone),” Tan told Rappler.

She and her colleagues tried contacting the port and the taxi driver who had brought them to the hotel.

One of Tan’s colleagues also tried calling the phone that was inside her lost bag, but no one picked up.

“Tinry namin to activate ang Find My Phone. Na-detect namin siya kung saan banda,” Tan said.

(We tried to activate Find My Phone and we were able to detect where it was)

Tan said the bellboy and the guard of Cebu R Hotel assisted them.

Radio relay

They hailed some taxi drivers parked nearby. They showed the drivers a receipt from their taxi, in case some drivers would be familiar with any of the driver’s details. 

A taxi driver by the name of Richie Echavez was able to identify the taxi.

Esteves said he even knew the driver from an online radio group.

“[Echavez] coordinated the search over the radio with their driver group. He also kept announcing the location of my phone as I kept track of it using the find-my-phone feature,” Tan said.

Two other drivers were able to spot the driver along Gorordo Avenue in Cebu City.

With the help of their radio relay, Tan and her colleagues were able to contact the taxi driver carrying her bag.

“Our taxi driver who was not online with the group stopped to wait for us to catch up to get my bag,” Tan said.

Tan said they were able to meet with him near Ayala Center Cebu. Before 9 pm that day, Tan was able to retrieve all of her belongings, including two iPhones, credit cards, and her Nikon camera.

“We checked the time stamps. It took just 35 minutes lang from the time I realized missing yung bag ko to getting it back,” she told Rappler.

Tan thanked the driver for waiting for them and the latter went on to find his next passenger to service. She also thanked the bellboy and the guard that assisted her.

“I hope when you read my story, what you see here is how people respond when someone needs help. I hope even just by a small increment, it adds to your faith in the goodness of others,” Tan said.


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