Monday, June 27, 2011

Boss, Magkano Yan?

"Boss, magkano yan?" or "How much is that?" is a question people ask other people all the time when it comes to things people own, like for example cars, laptops, digital cameras, shoes, and, yes, even bicycles.  It's just one of those things people are curious about.  May be they want one of their own, or may be they want to buy for a loved one or a friend, I mean who knows?  It is a legitimate question.

In an ideal world, I'd have no problem answering this question.  I'd say, "I paid PXX,XXX.00 for it at Lane & Trip bike shop in Taiwan.  Wala kasi dito sa 'pinas.  I bought it from the store owner, Ben.  Great customer service!  Do you want his contact number?"

But I've read and heard so many stories about bikes being stolen, bike-napped and bike-jacked here in the Philippines that I've developed an apprehension in answering the HOW MUCH question.  You see, that's actually how thieves and robbers determine who to steal from.  They ask bikers how much their bikes are.  When they find out that it's expensive or that's it rare and unique, then the bike and its owner become their target.  Pag-nakursonadahan ang bike mo, sa susunod na makita ka, ho-holdapin ka na nila.   I'm sorry to say this, but that's how it is, especially when it comes to full-suspension mountain bikes.  These criminal elements already know what the expensive ones are and what's in demand.  Folding bikes, on the other hand, are still new to them.  So, they still ask around.

The other weekend, while waiting for my friends in Paranaque, a couple of teenagers approached me and complemented my bike.  I said thanks.  Then they asked how much it was. Now I'd like to think it was an innocent question, believe me, I'm a naive person, but my internal alarm bell started to ring.

"Ah, hindi ko alam, regalo lang sa akin ng asawa ko," I replied, hoping they'd get the drift that I was uncomfortable answering the question.  But then one teenager asked, "Sa tingin mo, magkano, kuya?"  I said I didn't know.  But the kid insisted and asked the question again. I didn't like where the conversation was going, and that's when I said I had to leave. Then I rode off to join my friends.

Did I overreact? Probably.  Was I rude to them? I guess.  Did they deserve being snobbed like that? No, they didn't.  They were probably just curious.  

But can you blame me for my reaction?  I hope not.  

In this day and age, people should start realizing that other people are not comfortable answering how much their personal property is.  I don't intend be rude or a snob. It's just that I don't want to put a dollar sign on my things.  I am afraid that if I blurt out the price in public, someone with not-so-good intentions might hear it and take interest on my property. And then god knows what may happen next. 

Sa totoo lang, I really don't mind answering the question. But it is not worth the risk.

So the next time you ask a person how much his personal property is, be it a folding bike, a DSLR camera, a tablet, an MP3 player, a car, a motorbike, a skateboard, a cellphone or a pair of shades, and he doesn't answer you directly, PLEASE, DON'T GET OFFENDED.  The guy is just being cautious.  If you're really interested, why don't you just ask him what kind it is or what's its name and model. (I see no problem answering those questions)  Then may be you can go home, google it and find out yourself.  That's not too much to ask, right?


  1. That sir, is very interesting. thanks for the tip. i have a folding bike too and i get the same question from strangers when i ride around the city.

  2. We just have to be careful nowadays. Mahirap na manakawan.