Moalboal Backpacker Lodge: Danger
On Friday, August 11th,2011 Laurel and I were robbed of $300 U.S. dollars. I will first objectively state the order of events, than will follow up with my interpretation of what happened. All our money was in Philippines Pesos, but I’ll discuss in terms of US dollars for ease.
We arrived in Moalboal and rented a motorbike to transport ourselves to Pangsama Beach where we would search for budget accommodations. We stumbled upon a backpacker hostel named Moalboal Backpacker Lodge. We were greeted by a Filipino woman and her two sisters.
Upon arrival we went upstairs and checked out the room. It was a very nice hostel with a double bed room by the street. There were no other guests and it was nice and quiet.
The woman was very friendly with us, telling stories about how safe her hostel is. She mentioned how when she changes sheets, sometimes she sees that a guest will leave their wallet underneath their pillow. She would then move the wallet, change the sheets, and replace the wallet. She also stressed how she does not allow any street vendors or taxi drivers into her establishment.
We decided to stay the night. We went downstairs to pay for the night, and Laurel opened up the money belt to pull out enough money to pay the woman. We were provided with a lock and key to the room we were staying in. Inside the room was a small box with another lock on it.
Laurel and I had taken $1,200 for our whole trip and exchanged it at the beginning when we got into the country, therefore keeping all our money in a money belt.
We decided to leave our money belt in the lock box, inside the locked room while we went out exploring the area. We were out for about 5 hours being gone from about 2pm to 7pm. We were really tired from two long nights out before, and went straight to bed.
In the morning, I opened the safety box and discovered that $225 dollars was missing. Our ipods, passports, and credit cards were still there, along with about $500 US dollars left. We were unsure of where the money went, but we knew it was gone.
The night before we couchsurfed with an awesome host in Cebu City. In his house were a maid, a driver, and a business. We were unsure if someone who had been in the house we surfed in the night before had taken the money.
We decided to stay at the backpacker one more night. And having been next to the road that was noisy, we switched rooms to the back of the hostel.
After switching rooms and counting our money multiple times, we decided to go out to a nearby beach. The weather was poor, and we returned home in 2 hours. Upon arrival we discovered that someone had taken another $75 out of our money belt.
We were the only people staying in the hostel. The only other people present were the three sisters.
We packed up all of our belongings and went downstairs informing the sisters that we had been robbed. They told us that no money has ever been stolen out of there hostel, and asked if we were upset. They also said that there are no spare keys to the locks in the room. Maybe a guest lost a key at some point but they don’t know.
We told them that we were upset and we don’t want to stay there. We asked for a refund on the room that night. They said okay, and refunded our nights stay, but still charged us for the two coffees that we had before we left that morning. We left feeling victimized, disheartened, and upset.
Moalboal Backpacker Lodge stole our money, hands down. It was likely the three sisters working together to watch out for each other and cover their tracks.
From the moment we got there, the woman starting providing us with a false sense of security. The moment she saw our money belt she was scheming on us. We left and they probably immediately dipped there hand into our money belt thinking we would go get drunk and think we lost it ourselves.
But we didn’t. We were the only people in the hostel and we went to bed at 7pm.
No backpacker ever leaves his wallet full of money under their pillow. Especially not when there are lock boxes in the hostel. What a lie.
The next day we left for 2 hours. It confirmed in our minds that the three women there stole our money. They figured since we decided to stay another night we had no idea. And they could dip their hands back into the cookie jar.
They tried to get us for every penny they could. Charging us for coffee after we’ve had all that money stolen. Poor form.
They were con artists. The worst kind. The kind that own a professional establishment, feed you full of lies, make you feel safe, and rob you right under your nose.
They have a key to the door, and the lock box. They lied to us through their teeth, and it was obvious.
I caution anyone who wants to stay at Moalboal Backpacker Lodge.