A few days ago I had the pleasure of being exposed to something that native Filipinos and tourists should be vigilant of.
What to be on the lookout for: Pickpockets in groups of two or three with backpacks will ride on the same jeepney and pretend to not know one another. They place the bag on their laps to conceal their hand as they try to pick your pockets.
I had a man sit down beside me with a bag, but I knew something was out of the ordinary even though I didn't know exactly what just at first. I saw the man keep looking at his bag and then at me and then pretending to look away. At the same time I felt something lightly touching the outside of my leg and move up and down like something was searching for something... maybe a pocket to pick! At first I thought it was the man's bag touching my leg but then I realized for sure what was going on.
Because I wear jeans and shorts with multiple pockets some would see me as prime target to pickpocket, they don't know I'm also on guard against people like them especially in a foreign country. I keep all my money and other sensitive items in my front pockets. Most of my shorts and pants have deep pockets and I constantly make sure my sensitive items are pushed down as far as the can go into the pockets. I also have very thick legs so the upper part of my pants always have tight fit so if anyone decided they were going to pick my front pockets they would probably lose that hand and maybe their entire arm.
Then the jeepney stopped and let out some of the passengers and this is where I learned they work in pairs or more because as soon as the passengers were let out his partner (who also had a black bag on his lap) motioned me to move beside him. It was packed on my side of the jeepney so I thought he was just being courteous. WRONG!!! Apparently his partner signaled to him that he couldn't find anything on my left side so by sitting next to him my right side would be the next target. However, this guy didn't even get a chance to try to even begin to pick my pockets. Janlie was siting on the other side of him and noticed what he was up to and every time she saw him trying to hide his hand and reach over to me she would shove him! hahaha We shortly reached our destination and then told me about what that guy had been trying to do.
We decided that from now on I will carry things in my exposed side pockets and back pockets... Gospel tracts!!! So that way when they pick my pockets they'll get the best kind of treasure they need.... the good news of Jesus Christ!