A few months ago, I asked help from Dubs in finding a babysitter for my kids. Dubs suggested I try getting from her agent, Bheng. When I texted Bheng the first time, she said I had to send her money through LBC in Mindoro because they don't have enough fare to Pampanga. I was hesitant and I texted her so. She said it's okay, and then no more transaction.
Because I was desperate to find a babysitter, last August, I tried getting in touch with her again with the help of my friend, Dubs. Dubs said that she'll also get a helper from Bheng anyway. When I texted Bheng, she said she was able to find someone willing to take care of my two kids, but that someone is young, just a teenager. I said okay. I'll give her a shot.
On the morning of the meet-up at McDonald's Intersection (Olongapo-Gapan Rd.), Dubs got to them first and was able to get the helper who was supposed to go to us (the young one), because when Dubs asked the other helper Bheng brought, Arlene (we found out later that Arlene is not her real name) if she can cook, Arlene said "no!". So Dubs got the helper that's supposed to be for us.
This Arlene, who was left to us, was 32-years-old (if that's her real age), slim built, wears glasses (I think she has immature cataract), and is very soft-spoken. My mother's other helpers did not think badly of her because she was likeable. She did not have a cellphone, which is a plus for me given the fact that the last babysitter we had almost burned the house down because she left the stove on while she was texting. I asked Arlene several times what her full name is. She'd answer Arlene Norilla, and she's from Mindoro.
So when Bheng texted me saying that Arlene texted her saying that she doesn't want to work for us anymore, I was disappointed and mad at Arlene, but did not lash or reprimand her anymore. Nagsawa na ako magalit sa katulong. We just allowed her to stay on (di na nga namin siya masyadong inuutusan) and wait for her replacement, which was guaranteed by Bheng.
Arlene still helped around, but we did not talk to her anymore about why she wanted to leave us and had to find out about this from Bheng's text. We waited for the replacement. Even sending Bheng P2,000 through LBC for the replacement babysitter's fare, as Bheng requested, which she said she'll return when we next meet-up here in Pampanga. So we waited..
But we waited too long... we waited in vain.
Arlene ran-away and stole money from the other helpers (my parents' helpers). The day before she disappeared, Maricar, my parents' helper was crying because she lost her P8,500 savings, which was inside her bag. Earlier that day, Maricar was brought along by my siblings to Subic because it's been a long time since she had a day-off. She remembers having to get P500 from her stash inside her bag in the helpers' room before they left for Subic. Maricar even cried her heart out to Arlene when she found out about her missing money. That day also, the other helper, Ate Inday, was looking for the P6,000 she lost but couldn't remember whether in the house in Pampanga or in the condo in Manila.
The next day, Arlene was gone. She took off with both the helpers' money we presume. She did not wait anymore for the replacement. When we told Bheng about this, Bheng just said she'll report Arlene to the Mindoro Baranggay. What good would that do? Arlene doesn't give her real name. Maricar, in retrospect, remembers a conversation she once had with Arlene. Arlene advised her, "wag mo sasabihin ang totong pangalan mo sa amo mo para di ka huhuntingin". Based on this statement, Arlene has been doing this kind of dirty deed for a long time.
When we found out she was missing, we immediately tried tracking her down. But it was futile. We can't report her to the authorities because she did not give us her real name. We were able to take a picture of her when she's only been with us for a few days. Apparently she knew even then that she'd be stealing money from us and taking off. She did not look at the camera eventhough the waiter who took the picture counted before clicking. Here's the picture of "Arlene". Here's her picture again. Beware of this person.
Bheng, on the other hand, never followed up with the replacement. At first she kept on saying they got stranded in the ferry terminal, which was believeable because there was indeed a typhoon during those days. But the days went on, and still no reply from her. She still has to refund us the P1,500 downpayment and the P2,000 fare money she borrowed. But 'til now no text whatsoever.
Vima D. Nandin a.k.a. Bheng lives in Marilao New Dagupan, Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro. That's the address she gave us when we sent her the P2,000 through LBC. Her last known cellphone number is 09096875415. We will ask the Mindoro police for help in tracking her down. She is also accountable for our lost.
Dubs' helper, the younger helper that was supposed to be ours, is doing okay so far, according to Dubs. That helper said that during that meet-up at McDonald's, Arlene told her she's pregnant and Bheng knows about Arlene's condition too. So they lied about that as well.
It's sad that in the midst of preparing for our wedding, we've been duped twice. We will, of course, replace to my parents' helpers the money stolen by Arlene from them. Kami nagdala ng salot sa bahay eh.
I don't want to be mad, but it's hard to be positive regarding these things. I try though.
"He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more, He who loses faith, loses all. " - Eleanor Roosevelt